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Alim, Karen; Frey, Erwin (November 2007): Shapes of Semiflexible Polymer Rings. In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 99: p. 198102




The shape of semiflexible polymer rings is studied over their whole range of flexibility. Investigating the joint distribution of asphericity and the nature of asphericity as well as their respective averages, we find two distinct shape regimes depending on the flexibility of the polymer. For a small perimeter to persistence length the fluctuating rings exhibit only planar, elliptical configurations. At higher flexibilities three-dimensional, crumpled structures arise. Analytic calculations confirm the qualitative behavior of the averaged shape parameters and the elliptical shape in the stiff regime.