C. F. Abrams, N. K. Lee, S. P. ObukhovCollapse dynamics of a polymer chain: Theory and simulation.Europhysics Letters. 59(3), 391-397 (2002)
We present a scaling theory describing the collapse of a homopolymer chain in poor solvent. At time t after the beginning of the collapse, the original Gaussian chain of length N is streamlined to form N/g segments of length R (t), each containing g similar to t monomers. These segments are statistical quantities representing cylinders of length Rsimilar tot(1/2) and diameter d similar to t(1/4), but structured out of stretched arrays of spherical globules. This prescription incorporates the capillary instability. We compare the time-dependent structure factor derived for our theory with that obtained from ultra-large-scale molecular-dynamics simulation with explicit solvent. This is the first time such a detailed comparison of theoretical and simulation predictions of collapsing chain structure has been attempted. The favorable agreement between the theoretical and computed structure factors supports the picture of the coarse-graining process during polymer collapse.