Brownian dynamics simulations of polyelectrolyte adsorption onto topographically patterned surfaces

Nazish Hoda, Satish Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The effect of patterned surface topography on the adsorption of single polyelectrolyte molecules is explored using Brownian dynamics simulations. The polyelectrolyte is modeled as a free-draining, freely jointed bead-rod chain, and electrostatic interactions are incorporated using a screened Coulombic potential with excluded volume interactions accounted for by the repulsive part of a Lennard-Jones potential. Topography consisting of periodically spaced valleys of square cross section separated by flat hills is considered. Chain conformations are characterized for a wide range of valley widths, depths, and spacings as well as for several different types of surface charge distributions. Depending on the parameter values describing the topography, the chains are found to adopt conformations ranging from flat and extended to those associated with bridge-, brush-, or semi-bridge-like structures. The formation of these structures is rationalized on the basis of a free-energy model that takes into account the increase in free energy due to entropie confinement, excluded volume interactions, and chain stretching as well as the decrease in free energy due to beadsurface electrostatic attraction. The results of this work are expected to be useful in designing patterned surface topography to control the conformations of adsorbed polyelectrolyte molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11747-11760
Number of pages14
Issue number23
StatePublished - Nov 6 2007


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