Electrophoresis of a polyelectrolyte through a nanopore

Sandip Ghosal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


A hydrodynamic model for determining the electrophoretic speed of a polyelectrolyte through a nanopore is presented. It is assumed that the speed is determined by a balance of electrical and viscous forces arising from within the pore and that classical continuum electrostatics and hydrodynamics may be considered applicable. An explicit formula for the translocation speed as a function of the pore geometry and other physical parameters is obtained and is shown to be consistent with experimental measurements on DNA translocation through nanopores in silicon membranes. Experiments also show a weak dependence of the translocation speed on polymer length that is not accounted for by the present model. It is hypothesized that this is due to secondary effects that are neglected here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041901
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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