Persistence length of a polyelectrolyte in salty water: Monte Carlo study

T. T. Nguyen, B. I. Shklovskii

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Abstract

We address the long standing problem of the dependence of the electrostatic persistence length [formula presented] of a flexible polyelectrolyte (PE) on the screening length [formula presented] of the solution within the linear Debye-Hückel theory. The standard Odijk, Skolnick, and Fixman (OSF) theory suggests [formula presented] while some variational theories and some computer simulations suggest [formula presented] In this paper, we use Monte Carlo simulations to study the conformation of a simple polyelectrolyte. Using four times longer PEs than in previous simulations and refined methods for the treatment of the simulation data, we show that the results are consistent with the OSF dependence [formula presented] The linear charge density of the PE, which enters in the coefficient of this dependence is properly renormalized to take into account local fluctuations.

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