J. Phys. II France
Volume 7, Numéro 9, September 1997
Page(s) 1273 - 1285
DOI: 10.1051/jp2:1997186
J. Phys. II France 7 (1997) 1273-1285

On the Elastic Behavior of a Single Polyelectrolyte Chain

P. Haronska, J. Wilder and T.A. Vilgis

Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung, Postfach 3148, 55021 Mainz, Germany

(Received 27 February 1997, received in final form 21 May 1997, accepted 26 May 1997)

This paper discusses the elastic behavior of a single polyelectrolyte chain. A simple scaling analysis as in self avoiding walk chains are not possible, because three interplaying relevant length scales are involved, i.e., the Debye screening length and the Pincus blob size. Therefore a self-consistent computation of an effective variational propagator is employed. It is shown that the elastic force as a function f of the distance R behaves as $f \propto R$ for small f. For larger forces we find a new regime, characterized by deformations larger than a computed electrostatic "blob size". These results are supported by simulations and intuitive physical arguments.

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