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Paper   IPM / P / 14186
School of Physics
  Title:   Molecular Recognition by Van der Waals Interaction between Polymers with Sequence-Specific Polarizabilities
1.  B. S. Lu
2.  A. Naji
3.  R. Podgornik
  Status:   Published
  Journal: J. Chem. Phys.
  Vol.:  142
  Year:  2015
  Pages:   214904
  Supported by:  IPM
We analyze van der Waals interactions between two rigid polymers with sequence-specific, anisotropic polarizabilities along the polymer backbones, so that the dipole moments fluctuate parallel to the polymer backbones. Assuming that each polymer has a quenched-in polarizability sequence which reflects, for example, the polynucleotide sequence of a double-stranded DNA molecule, we study the van der Waals interaction energy between a pair of such polymers with rod-like structure for the cases where their respective polarizability sequences are (i) distinct and (ii) identical, with both zero and non-zero correlation length of the polarizability correlator along the polymer backbones in the latter case. For identical polymers, we find a novel r^�??5 scaling behavior of the van der Waals interaction energy for small inter-polymer separation r, in contradistinction to the r^�??4 scaling behavior of distinct polymers, with furthermore a pronounced angular dependence favoring attraction between sufficiently aligned identical polymers. Such behavior can assist the molecular recognition between polymers.

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