• M. Caraglio, C. Micheletti and E. Orlandini
    Unraveling the Influence of Topology and Spatial Confinement on Equilibrium and Relaxation Properties of Interlocked Ring Polymers
    Macromolecules 57 3223-3233 (2024)
    Link to online article

  • Abstract
    We use Langevin dynamics simulations to study linked ring polymers in channel confinement. We address the in- and out-of-equilibrium behavior of the systems for varying degrees of confinement and increasing topological and geometrical complexity of the interlocking. The main findings are three. First, metric observables of different link topologies collapse onto the same master curve when plotted against the crossing number, revealing a universal response to confinement. Second, the relaxation process from initially stretched states is faster for more complex links. We ascribe these properties to the interplay of several effects, including the dependence of topological friction on link complexity. Finally, we show that transient forms of geometrical entanglement, purposely added to the initial stressed state, can leave distinctive signatures in force-spectroscopy curves. The insight provided by the findings could be leveraged in single-molecule nanochannel experiments to identify geometric entanglement within topologically linked rings.