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Physical review letters

Scaling exponent and Kuhn length of pinned polymers by single molecule force spectroscopy.


PMID 17155778

Abstract

The end-to-end distance and the contour length of single polymers in dynamic adsorbate layers were measured with a mechanical approach. Individual polysaccharide chains were covalently pinned to the surface with one segment and picked up randomly with an atomic force microscope tip. The polymer section between pinpoint and the pickup point was stretched by retracting the tip from the surface. The pinpoint was derived by measuring the normal force while laterally scanning the surface at constant height. For carboxy-methyl-amylose, a Kuhn length of 0.44 nm and a scaling exponent of 0.74 were found.