Special Issue "Polyelectrolytes 2014"


A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Christian Seidel
Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Department of Theory & Bio-Systems, Science Park Golm, D-14424 Potsdam, Germany
Website: http://www.mpikg.mpg.de/31935/Polymers-and-Polyelectrolytes
E-Mail: seidel@mpikg.mpg.de
Phone: +49 331 567 9608
Fax: +49 331 567 9612
Interests: polymers and polyelectrolytes in solution and at interfaces; polyelectrolyte brushes; organization of nanoparticles at copolymer brushes; numerical simulations and theory

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Synthetic and natural polyelectrolytes have been the subject of fundamental and applied studies for nearly a century. Due to substantial advances both in experimental methods and theoretical approaches, since the 1990’s polyelectrolyte research has undergone a considerable speed-up. On the one hand, interest in polyelectrolytes is spurred by their fascinating properties, such as water solubility, intra- and interchain interactions, the strength of which can be tuned simply by varying salt concentration, and ionic conductivity. These properties make polyelectrolytes attractive from the application-oriented point of view, such as stabilizer of colloidal suspensions, additives to modify flocculation and viscosity, and superabsorbers. Functional polyelectrolytes combine the useful properties intrinsic to polyelectrolytes with added functionality provided by specific features of the polymer backbone, such as delocalized electrons in conjugated chains. Combined functionality can be used to create materials with highly interesting optical, electro-optical, and electronic properties.

On the other hand, the understanding of polyelectrolytes still belongs to the most challenging and most exciting problems in polymer physics and physical chemistry. Despite much effort and substantial progress during the last two decades, much more work is ahead to achieve a quantitative agreement between theory and experiments for a lot of problems, such as counterion condensation, chain stiffness, and formation of complexes. It is still a major open problem to have a satisfactory model explaining the coupling between small ions in solutions and polyelectrolyte charges, which is necessary to understand how electrostatics affects the behavior of polyelectrolytes.

Many biologically relevant macromolecules, such as nucleic acids, polypeptides, and polysaccharides, are polyelectrolytes. Electrophoresis is a well-established method for the fractionation of polyelectrolytes and more specifically, DNA. Hydration-mediated interactions play an important role in the field of biological polyelectrolytes, but are not well understood on nano-scales.

Dr. Christian Seidel
Guest Editor


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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  • synthesis and biopolyelectrolytes
  • stimuli-responsive polyelectrolytes
  • electrophoresis
  • hydration effects and ion-specific interactions
  • polyelectrolyte multilayers, complexes and gels
  • polyelectrolyte brushes
  • conjugated polyelectrolytes
  • theory and modeling

Published Papers (1 paper)

Polymers 2014, 6(4), 1207-1231; doi:10.3390/polym6041207
Received: 14 February 2014; in revised form: 4 April 2014 / Accepted: 11 April 2014 / Published: 22 April 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (661 KB) | View HTML Full-text | Download XML Full-text

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: pH and Salt Effects on the Associative Phase Separation of Oppositely Charged Polyelectrolytes
Authors: Prateek Jha and Ronald G. Larson
Affiliation: Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Abstract: We develop a thermodynamic description of the associative phase separation observed in aqueous solutions of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes. The theory is applied to study the effects of pH and salt concentration on the phase separation regime and compared with available experimental data. Results indicate the existence of a critical salt concentration below which the mixture phase separates; magnitude of this critical salt concentration increases with increase in the degree of dissociation of polyelectrolytes. pH variations gives rise to disparity between the degree of dissociation of the two polyelectrolytes, resulting in asymmetry in their binodal compositions. Effects of differences in the hydrophobicity of polyelectrolytes are also investigated. We conclude with a discussion of possible correlations between the results of this study and the layer-by-layer assembly of polyelectrolytes.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Electrostatic Self-Assembly of Polymers and Colloids: New Routes to New Functional Materials
Author: Matthew Tirrell
Affiliation: Institute for Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago, 5747 South Ellis Avenue, Jones 222, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA; E-Mail: mtirrell@uchicago.edu
Abstract: Highly charged polymer chains in monovalent salt media exhibit a fairly simple range of behaviors, swelling in low salt, shrinking in high salt, based on the screening of repulsive electrostatic interactions among the segments. In the presence of multivalent constituents, attractive forces arise between polyelectrolyte chains. These attractions produce strong collapse of polyelectrolyte chains, adhesion between polyelectrolyte bearing surfaces, precipitation, and in the case of mixtures of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes, formation of fluid complex coacervate phases. Such polyelectrolyte complexes have very low interfacial tension with water, and so engulf particles, invade porous media and spread on surfaces. Inorganic syntheses can produce nanoparticles in situ. Multicomponent polymers with polyelectrolyte blocks can self-assembly in novel ways producing new ordered, hydrogel materials that can be the basis for new materials from biomedicine to tough composites.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Electrophoresis of Polyelectrolytes in Confinement: The Influence of Counterion Properties
Authors: Sorin Nedelcu and Jens-Uwe Sommer
Affiliation: Institute of Physical Chemistry and Polymer Physics, Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden e. V., Werkstofflaborgebäude, Budapester Straße 29, 01069 Dresden, Germany; E-Mail: nedelcu@ipfdd.de

Type: Review
Title: Does electrical conductivity of linear polyelectrolytes in aqueous solution follow the dynamic scaling laws ?. A critical review and a summary of the key relations
Author: Cesare Cametti
Affiliation: Department of Physics, University of Rome "La Sapienza", Piazzale A- Moro 5 - I-00185 - Rome, Italy; Email: cesare.cametti@roma1.infn.it
Abstract: In this review, we focus on the electrical conductivity of aqueous polyelectrolyte solutions in the light of the dynamic scaling laws, recently proposed by Dobrynin and Rubinstein, to take into account the polymer conformations in different concentration regimes, both in good and poor solvent conditions. This approach allows us to separate contributions due to polymer conformation from those due to the ionic character of the chain, and offers the possibility to extend the validity of the Manning conductivity model to dilute and semidilute regimes. The electrical conductivity in the light of the scaling approach compares reasonably well with the observed values for different polyelectrolytes in aqueous solutions, over an extended concentration range, from the dilute to the semidilute regime.

Last update: 30 October 2013

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