We present an analysis of a partially directed walk model of a polymer which at one end is tethered to a sticky surface and at the other end is subjected to a pulling force at fixed angle away from the point of tethering. Using the kernel method, we derive the full generating function for this model in two and three dimensions and obtain the respective phase diagrams. We observe adsorbed and desorbed phases with a thermodynamic phase transition in between. In the absence of a pulling force this model has a second-order thermal desorption transition which merely gets shifted by the presence of a lateral pulling force. On the other hand, if the pulling force contains a non-zero vertical component this transition becomes first order. Strikingly, we find that, if the angle between the pulling force and the surface is below a critical value, a sufficiently strong force will induce polymer adsorption, no matter how large the temperature of the system. Our findings are similar in two and three dimensions, an additional feature in three dimensions being the occurrence of a re-entrance transition at constant pulling force for low temperature, which has been observed previously for this model in the presence of pure vertical pulling. Interestingly, the re-entrance phenomenon vanishes under certain pulling angles, with details depending on how the three-dimensional polymer is modeled.
Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment Vol. 2010, Issue September