A long DNA segment in a linear nanoscale Paul trap

Sony Joseph, Weihua Guan, Mark A. Reed, Predrag S. Krstic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We study the dynamics of a linearly distributed line charge such as single stranded DNA (ssDNA) in a nanoscale, linear 2D Paul trap in vacuum. Using molecular dynamics simulations we show that a line charge can be trapped effectively in the trap for a well defined range of stability parameters. We investigated (i)a flexible bonded string of charged beads and (ii)a ssDNA polymer of variable length, for various trap parameters. A line charge undergoes oscillations or rotations as it moves, depending on its initial angle, the position of the center of mass and the velocity. The stability region for a strongly bonded line of charged beads is similar to that of a single ion with the same charge to mass ratio. Single stranded DNA as long as 40nm does not fold or curl in the Paul trap, but could undergo rotations about the center of mass. However, we show that a stretching field in the axial direction can effectively prevent the rotations and increase the confinement stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number015103
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A long DNA segment in a linear nanoscale Paul trap'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this