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Issue 4, 2009
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The electrostatic origin of chiral patterns on nanofibers

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Abstract

Several recent research works focus on nanofibers covered by molecules that self-assemble into chiral helices. While the formation of helical structures has been explained mostly on a case by case basis, the ubiquitous presence of chirality at the nanoscale suggests the existence of a unifying description. We present a model for computing the optimal arrangement of charged stripes over a cylindrical fiber, and show how helical structures can arise spontaneously from screened Coulomb interactions. We obtain the phase diagram and discuss some applications to nanoscale systems such as self-assembled peptide nanotubes, carbon nanotubes, and filamentous viruses.

Graphical abstract: The electrostatic origin of chiral patterns on nanofibers

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Aug 2008, accepted on 15 Dec 2008 and first published on 16 Jan 2009


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/B814583K
Citation: Soft Matter, 2009,5, 736-739
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    The electrostatic origin of chiral patterns on nanofibers

    G. Vernizzi, K. L. Kohlstedt and M. O. de la Cruz, Soft Matter, 2009, 5, 736
    DOI: 10.1039/B814583K

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