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Issue 25, 2012

Self-assembly of spherical interpolyelectrolyte complexes from oppositely charged polymers

Author affiliations

Abstract

The formation of inter-polyelectrolyte complexes from the association of oppositely charged polymers in an electrolyte is studied. The charged polymers are linear oppositely charged polyelectrolytes, with possibly a neutral block. This leads to complexes with a charged core, and a more dilute corona of dangling chains, or of loops (flower-like structure). The equilibrium aggregation number of the complexes (number of polycations m+ and polyanions m) is determined by minimizing the relevant free energy functional, the Coulombic contribution of which is worked out within Poisson–Boltzmann theory. The complexes can be viewed as colloids that are permeable to micro-ionic species, including salts. We find that the complexation process can be highly specific, giving rise to very localized size distribution in composition space (m+, m).

Graphical abstract: Self-assembly of spherical interpolyelectrolyte complexes from oppositely charged polymers

Article information


Submitted
23 Feb 2012
Accepted
19 Apr 2012
First published
22 May 2012

Soft Matter, 2012,8, 6755-6766
Article type
Paper

Self-assembly of spherical interpolyelectrolyte complexes from oppositely charged polymers

V. A. Baulin and E. Trizac, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 6755 DOI: 10.1039/C2SM25423A

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