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Published October 17, 2003 | Published
Journal Article Open

Semiflexible Polymer Confined to a Spherical Surface


We develop a formalism for describing the kinematics of a wormlike chain confined to the surface of a sphere that simultaneously satisfies the spherical confinement and the inextensibility of the chain contour. We use this formalism to study the statistical behavior of the wormlike chain on a spherical surface. In particular, we provide an exact, closed-form expression for the mean square end-to-end distance that is valid for any value of chain length L, persistence length lp, and sphere radius R. We predict two qualitatively different behaviors for a long polymer depending on the ratio R/lp. For R/lp>4, the mean square end-to-end distance increases monotonically with the chain length, whereas for R/lp<4, a damped oscillatory behavior is predicted.

Additional Information

©2003 The American Physical Society. Received 6 June 2003; published 16 October 2003. This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation (DMR-9970589).

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