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Issue 40, 2017
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Rheological characterization of liquid-to-solid transitions in bulk polyelectrolyte complexes

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Abstract

Polyelectrolyte complexation has long been known to result in both liquid and solid complexes. However, the exact nature of the liquid-to-solid transition remains an open question. We have used rheology to explain this phenomenon for the model system of poly(4-styrenesulfonic acid, sodium salt) (PSS) and poly(diallyldimethyl ammonium chloride) (PDADMAC) in the presence of potassium bromide (KBr). The use of a time-salt superposition allows for a detailed analysis of changes in the linear viscoelastic response for both liquid complex coacervates and solid polyelectrolyte complexes as a function of salt concentration, and facilitates unambiguous determination of the mechanism for this phase transition. Decreasing salt concentration, and the commensurate decrease in the water content of PSS/PDADMAC/KBr complexes is shown to lead to the formation of a physical gel due to the development of a network with trapped electrostatic crosslinks that percolates the sample at a critical salt concentration.

Graphical abstract: Rheological characterization of liquid-to-solid transitions in bulk polyelectrolyte complexes

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
29 Jun 2017
Accepted
17 Sep 2017
First published
20 Sep 2017

Soft Matter, 2017,13, 7332-7340
Article type
Paper

Rheological characterization of liquid-to-solid transitions in bulk polyelectrolyte complexes

Y. Liu, B. Momani, H. H. Winter and S. L. Perry, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 7332
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01285C

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