Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 319245
Title An annealed polyelectrolyte brush in a polar-nonpolar binary solvent : effect of pH and ionic strength
Author(s) Mercurieva, A.A.; Birshtein, T.M.; Zhulina, E.B.; Iakovlev, P.; Male, J. van; Leermakers, F.A.M.
Source Macromolecules 35 (2002). - ISSN 0024-9297 - p. 4739 - 4752.
Department(s) Physical Chemistry and Colloid Science
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2002
Abstract A weakly charged polyelectrolyte brush in a polar-nonpolar solvent mixture is studied using a boxlike model and by numerical self-consistent-field theory. The work is a continuation of a similar study of a neutral polymer brush in a solvent mixture with a pronounced solubility gap. We study both the structure and structural transitions of the brush in particular in the one-phase region of the solvent mixture in the bulk. With respect to the neutral system, the polyelectrolyte system is even richer in its behavior. Starting from a nonpolar main solvent, upon increasing the chemical potential of water, we find the development of a mesoscopic water film inside the brush. The polymer takes up this thin film as it finds an environment that allows for the dissociation of its groups energetically attractive. The phase transition can be accompanied by an anomalous collapse of the ionizable brush and tuned by the pH of the solution and the ionic strength in the system. Another brush transition can occur when nonpolar solvent is added to a brush immersed in water. Finally, it is feasible that systems exist that feature three successive brush transitions upon changing the bulk composition from pre-binodal, to biphasic, and then to post-binodal compositions, where a forward, a reentry, and again a forward transition are found, respectively.
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