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Electroresponsive Polyelectrolyte Brushes Studied by Self-Consistent Field Theory

CIC biomaGUNE, Biosurface Lab, Paseo Miramon 182, 20014 San Sebastian, Spain
Institut des Sciences Analytiques et de Physico-Chimie pour l’Environnement et les Matériaux, UMR 5254 CNRS UPPA, 64053 Pau, France
School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, School of Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, and Bragg Center for Materials Research, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter, Wageningen University, 6703 NB Wageningen, The Netherlands
St. Petersburg National University of Informational Technologies, Mechanics and Optics, 197101 St.Petersburg, Russia
Institute of Macromolecular Compounds of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 199004 St. Petersburg, Russia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(4), 898;
Received: 4 March 2020 / Revised: 6 April 2020 / Accepted: 7 April 2020 / Published: 13 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theory of Polymers at Interfaces)
End-grafting of polyelectrolyte chains to conducting substrates offers an opportunity to fabricate electro-responsive surfaces capable of changing their physical/chemical properties (adhesion, wettability) in response to applied electrical voltage. We use a self-consistent field numerical approach to compare the equilibrium properties of tethered strong and weak (pH-sensitive) polyelectrolytes to applied electrical field in both salt-free and salt-containing solutions. We demonstrate that both strong and weak polyelectrolyte brushes exhibit segregation of polyions in two populations if the surface is oppositely charged with respect to the brush. This segregation gives rise to complex patterns in the dependence of the brush thickness on salt concentration. We demonstrate that adjustable ionization of weak polyelectrolytes weakens their conformational response in terms of the dependence of brush thickness on the amplitude of the applied voltage. View Full-Text
Keywords: smart interfaces; polyelectrolyte brushes; self-consistent field theory smart interfaces; polyelectrolyte brushes; self-consistent field theory
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MDPI and ACS Style

Okrugin, B.M.; Richter, R.P.; Leermakers, F.A.M.; Neelov, I.M.; Zhulina, E.B.; Borisov, O.V. Electroresponsive Polyelectrolyte Brushes Studied by Self-Consistent Field Theory. Polymers 2020, 12, 898.

AMA Style

Okrugin BM, Richter RP, Leermakers FAM, Neelov IM, Zhulina EB, Borisov OV. Electroresponsive Polyelectrolyte Brushes Studied by Self-Consistent Field Theory. Polymers. 2020; 12(4):898.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Okrugin, Boris M., Ralf P. Richter, Frans A.M. Leermakers, Igor M. Neelov, Ekaterina B. Zhulina, and Oleg V. Borisov. 2020. "Electroresponsive Polyelectrolyte Brushes Studied by Self-Consistent Field Theory" Polymers 12, no. 4: 898.

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