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Title: Multivalent ions induce lateral structural inhomogeneities in polyelectrolyte brushes
Authors: Yu, Jing
Jackson, Nicholas E.
Xu, Xin
Brettmann, Blair K.
Ruths, Marina
de Pablo, Juan J.
Tirrell, Matthew
Keywords: Polyelectrolyte Brushes
Planar Polyelectrolyte
Issue Date: 2017
Source: Yu, J., Jackson, N. E., Xu, X., Brettmann, B. K., Ruths, M., de Pablo, J. J., & Tirrell, M. (2017). Multivalent ions induce lateral structural inhomogeneities in polyelectrolyte brushes. Science Advances, 3(12), eaao1497-. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aao1497
Series/Report no.: Science Advances
Abstract: Subtle details about a polyelectrolyte’s surrounding environment can dictate its structural features and potential applications. Atomic force microscopy (AFM), surface forces apparatus (SFA) measurements, and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations are combined to study the structure of planar polyelectrolyte brushes [poly(styrenesulfonate), PSS] in a variety of solvent conditions. More specifically, AFM images provide a first direct visualization of lateral inhomogeneities on the surface of polyelectrolyte brushes collapsed in solutions containing trivalent counterions. These images are interpreted in the context of a coarse-grained molecular model and are corroborated by accompanying interaction force measurements with the SFA. Our findings indicate that lateral inhomogeneities are absent from PSS brush layers collapsed in a poor solvent without multivalent ions. Together, AFM, SFA, and our molecular model present a detailed picture in which solvophobic and multivalent ion–induced effects work in concert to drive strong phase separation, with electrostatic bridging of polyelectrolyte chains playing an essential role in the collapsed structure formation.
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao1497
Rights: © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:MSE Journal Articles

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