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Issue 25, 2012
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Self-assembly of spherical interpolyelectrolyte complexes from oppositely charged polymers

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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

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Feb 2012, accepted on 19 Apr 2012 and first published on 22 May 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM25423A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2012,8, 6755-6766
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    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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