Influence of internal viscoelastic modes on the Brownian motion of a λ-DNA coated colloid
We study the influence of grafted polymers on the diffusive behaviour of a colloidal particle. Our work demonstrates how such additional degrees of freedom influence the Brownian motion of the particle, focusing on internal viscoelastic coupling between the polymer and colloid. Specifically, we study the mean-squared displacements (MSDs) of λ-DNA grafted colloids using Brownian dynamics simulation. Our simulations reveal the non-trivial effect of internal modes, which gives rise to a crossover from the short-time viscoelastic to long-time diffusional behaviour. We also show that basic features can be captured by a simple theoretical model considering the relative motion of a colloid to a part of the polymer corona. This model describes well a MSD calculated from an extremely long trajectory of a single λ-DNA coated colloid from experiment and allows characterisation of the λ-DNA hairs. Our study suggests that the access to the internal relaxation modes via the colloid trajectory offers a novel method for the characterisation of soft attachments to a colloid.