Semiflexible magnetic filaments near attractive flat surfaces: a Langevin dynamics study

Sanchez, P.A.; Cerda, J.J.; Balleneger, V.; Sintes, T.; Piro, O.; Holm, C.
Soft Matter 7, 1809-1818 (2011)

The adsorption of stiff magnetic filaments close to an attractive surface is studied thoroughly via extensive Langevin dynamics simulations (LD). Magnetic filaments are represented by a coarse-grained bead-spring model where each bead bears a point dipole located at its center and the excluded volume interaction is introduced via a soft-core repulsive potential. We find strong evidence for the existence of two transitions as the temperature is lowered. First, the system undergoes a continuum phase transition from the desorbed to the adsorbed state. This transition is followed by a second structural transition that takes place when the filaments are already adsorbed. The adsorption transition is found to be very similar to the one observed for stiff non-magnetic polymer chains [Sintes et al., Macromolecules 2001, 34, 1352–1357] where the chain bending interaction plays a similar role as the magnetic component of the present case. However, the tendency of the magnetic chains to stretch is reversed by a further reduction in temperature and the chains tend to form closed adsorbed loops leading to a second structural transition. A representation of the phase diagram for the adsorption of magnetic filaments is determined here for the first time. We also present a novel way to determine the temperature at which the chain is adsorbed that is based on the analysis of the change in the number of trains, tails and loops developed by the polymer chain during the adsorption process.

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