Date of Award

2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Physics

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Gerhard Müller

Abstract

This study presents a statistical mechanical analysis of single molecular chains at thermal equilibrium subject to tension, torque, and contact with a fluid medium. Polymeric chains are modeled as one-dimensional, microscopic groups of monomers. The methodology treats the response of monomers to tension, torque, and fluid medium contact as sets of statistically interacting quasi-particles. Complex elastic behavior and structural transitions as observed in single-molecule manipulation experiments are successfully described using this methodology. Models pertaining to thermal unbending, linear elasticity, torque-twist characteristics, and structural transformations including effects of cooperativity are presented. Dynamic phenomena associated with fluid-medium contact are considered as an extension of the methodology.

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