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 411052
Title Polyelectrolyte complexes: Bulk phases and colloidal systems
Author(s) Gucht, J. van der; Spruijt, E.; Lemmers, M.; Cohen Stuart, M.A.
Source Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 361 (2011)2. - ISSN 0021-9797 - p. 407 - 422.
Department(s) Physical Chemistry and Colloid Science
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) oppositely charged polyelectrolytes - coacervate core micelles - highly aggregating systems - electrostatic free-energy - aqueous-solutions - multilayer films - rheological properties - diblock copolymer - cell model - coordination polymers
Abstract When aqueous solutions of polycations and polyanions are mixed, polyelectrolyte complexes form. These are usually insoluble in water, so that they separate out as a new concentrated polymer phase, called a complex coacervate. The behavior of these complexes is reviewed, with emphasis on new measurements that shed light on their structural and mechanical properties, such as cohesive energy, interfacial tension, and viscoelasticity. It turns out that stoichiometric complexes can be considered in many respects as pseudo-neutral, weakly hydrophobic polymers, which are insoluble in water, but become progressively more soluble as salt is added. In fact, the solubility-enhancing effect of salt is quite analogous to that of temperature for polymers in apolar solvents. Since two-phase systems can be prepared in colloidal form, we also discuss several kinds of colloids or 'microphases' that can arise due to polyelectrolyte complexation, such as thin films, 'zipper' brushes, micelles, and micellar networks. A characteristic feature of these charge-driven two-phase systems is that two polymeric ingredients are needed, but that some deviation from strict stoichiometry is tolerated. This turns out to nicely explain how and when the layer-by-layer method works, how a 'leverage rule' applies to the density of the 'zipper brush', and why soluble complexes or micelles appear in a certain window of composition. As variations on the theme, we discuss micelles with metal ions in the core, due to incorporation of supramolecular coordination polyelectrolytes, and micellar networks, which form a new kind of physical gels with unusual properties
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