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Title: Perspective: Mechanochemistry of biological and synthetic molecules

Coupling of mechanical forces and chemical transformations is central to the biophysics of molecular machines, polymer chemistry, fracture mechanics, tribology, and other disciplines. As a consequence, the same physical principles and theoretical models should be applicable in all of those fields; in fact, similar models have been invoked (and often repeatedly reinvented) to describe, for example, cell adhesion, dry and wet friction, propagation of cracks, and action of molecular motors. This perspective offers a unified view of these phenomena, described in terms of chemical kinetics with rates of elementary steps that are force dependent. The central question is then to describe how the rate of a chemical transformation (and its other measurable properties such as the transition path) depends on the applied force. I will describe physical models used to answer this question and compare them with experimental measurements, which employ single-molecule force spectroscopy and which become increasingly common. Multidimensionality of the underlying molecular energy landscapes and the ensuing frequent misalignment between chemical and mechanical coordinates result in a number of distinct scenarios, each showing a nontrivial force dependence of the reaction rate. I will discuss these scenarios, their commonness (or its lack), and the prospects for their experimental validation.more » Finally, I will discuss open issues in the field.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Department of Chemistry and Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22493650
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 144; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: (c) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; ADHESION; BIOPHYSICS; CHEMISTRY; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; COORDINATES; COUPLING; FRACTURE MECHANICS; FRICTION; MOLECULES; MOTORS; POLYMERS; REACTION KINETICS; SPECTROSCOPY; TRANSFORMATIONS; TRIBOLOGY; VALIDATION