G. D'Adamo, E. Orlandini and C. Micheletti
Linking of ring polymers in slit-like confinement
Macromolecules, 2017, 50 , 1713-1718
Link to online article
Stochastic simulations are used to study the linking properties of solutions of circular polymers in slit confinement. Specifically, we consider dispersions of semi-flexible rings at various densities φ and slit height, H. The competing lengthscales in the system have significant effects on the inter-chain entanglement. We observe that the linking probability is largest for a specific slit height that is about independent of solution density. However, when φ is large, links with given number of components can significantly depart from the overall linking trend with H. In this case, binary links are found to be least probable when the overall incidence of links is maximum. We show that this intriguing dicotomy and other properties, including upper bounds on links abundance, can be quantitatively captured with an approximate model based on continuum percolation theory. Our results suggest that slit-like confinement could be used in applicative contexts to control independently both the average abundance and the topological complexity of annealed molecular links.