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Oligomeric “Catastrophe Machines” with Thermally Activated Bistability and Stochastic Resonance

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journal contribution
posted on 23.08.2019 by Vladik A. Avetisov, Anastasia A. Markina, Alexander F. Valov
The desire to create nanometer-scale switching devices has motivated an active search for bistate macromolecular systems allowing for sharp conformational transitions in response to stimuli. Using full-atomic simulations, we found particular oligomers of thermosensitive polymers, themselves only a few nanometers in size, that possessed conformational bistability and reacted to power loads as nonlinear mechanical systems, termed “catastrophe machines”. We established the bifurcation and hysteresis effects, spontaneous vibrations, and stochastic resonance for these oligomers. It is important to note that the spontaneous vibrations and stochastic resonance were activated by thermal fluctuations. Because of such mechanic-like characteristics, short oligomers are a promising platform for the design of nanodevices and molecular machines.