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Open AccessArticle

Influence of the Hydrophobicity of Polyelectrolytes on Polyelectrolyte Complex Formation and Complex Particle Structure and Shape

Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden, Hohe Strasse 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany
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Polymers 2011, 3(3), 1363-1376; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym3031363
Received: 5 July 2011 / Revised: 12 August 2011 / Accepted: 22 August 2011 / Published: 25 August 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Nanogels and Microgels)
Polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs) were prepared by structural uniform and strongly charged cationic and anionic modified alternating maleic anhydride copolymers. The hydrophobicity of the polyelectrolytes was changed by the comonomers (ethylene, isobutylene and styrene). Additionally, the n/n+ ratio of the molar charges of the polyelectrolytes and the procedure of formation were varied. The colloidal stability of the systems and the size, shape, and structure of the PEC particles were investigated by turbidimetry, dynamic light scattering (DLS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Dynamic light scattering indicates that beside large PEC particle aggregates distinct smaller particles were formed by the copolymers which have the highest hydrophobicity (styrene). These findings could be proved by AFM. Fractal dimension (D), root mean square (RMS) roughness and the surface profiles of the PEC particles adsorbed on mica allow the following conclusions: the higher the hydrophobicity of the polyelectrolytes, the broader is the particle size distribution and the minor is the swelling of the PEC particles. Hence, the most compact particles are formed with the very hydrophobic copolymer. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrophobicity; polyelectrolyte complex; dynamic light scattering; atomic force microscopy hydrophobicity; polyelectrolyte complex; dynamic light scattering; atomic force microscopy
MDPI and ACS Style

Mende, M.; Schwarz, S.; Zschoche, S.; Petzold, G.; Janke, A. Influence of the Hydrophobicity of Polyelectrolytes on Polyelectrolyte Complex Formation and Complex Particle Structure and Shape. Polymers 2011, 3, 1363-1376.

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