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Diffusion of Sites versus Polymers in Polyelectrolyte Complexes and Multilayers

Title: Diffusion of Sites versus Polymers in Polyelectrolyte Complexes and Multilayers.
Name(s): Fares, Hadi, author
Schlenoff, Joseph, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Journal Article
Date Issued: 2017-10-05
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: It has long been assumed that the spontaneous formation of materials such as complexes and multilayers from charged polymers depends on (inter)diffusion of these polyelectrolytes. Here, we separately examine the mass transport of polymer molecules and extrinsic sites—charged polyelectrolyte repeat units balanced by counterions—within thin films of polyelectrolyte complex, PEC, using sensitive isotopic labeling techniques. The apparent diffusion coefficients of these sites within PEC films of poly(diallyldimethylammonium), PDADMA, and poly(styrenesulfonate), PSS, are at least 2 orders of magnitude faster than the diffusion of polyelectrolytes themselves. This is because site diffusion requires only local rearrangements of polyelectrolyte repeat units, placing far fewer kinetic limitations on the assembly of polyelectrolyte complexes in all of their forms. Site diffusion strongly depends on the salt concentration (ionic strength) of the environment, and diffusion of PDADMA sites is faster than that of PSS sites, accounting for the asymmetric nature of multilayer growth. Site diffusion is responsible for multilayer growth in the linear and into the exponential regimes, which explains how PDADMA can mysteriously “pass through” layers of PSS. Using quantitative relationships between site diffusion coefficient and salt concentration, conditions were identified that allowed the diffusion length to always exceed the film thickness, leading to full exponential growth over 3 orders of magnitude thickness. Both site and polymer diffusion were independent of molecular weight, suggesting that ion pairing density is a limiting factor. Polyelectrolyte complexes are examples of a broader class of dynamic bulk polymeric materials that (self-) assemble via the transport of cross-links or defects rather than actual molecules.
Identifier: FSU_libsubv1_scholarship_submission_1543269470_f050f9b2 (IID), 10.1021/jacs.7b07905 (DOI)
Publication Note: The version of record can be found at
Grant Number: DMR-1506824
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Issue: vol. 139

Choose the citation style.
Fares, H., & Schlenoff, J. (2017). Diffusion of Sites versus Polymers in Polyelectrolyte Complexes and Multilayers. Journal Of The American Chemical Society. Retrieved from