Dielectric Effects on Ion Transport in Polyelectrolyte Brushes

Jiaxing Yuan, Hanne S. Antila, Erik Luijten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Surface-grafted polyelectrolytes provide a versatile way to create functionalized interfaces and nanochannels with externally controllable properties. Understanding the behavior of ions within the brush-like assemblies is crucial for the further development of these devices. We demonstrate that the ion transport through the brushes is governed by the interplay of electrostatic ion-polymer binding and steric effects, leading to a mobility that depends nonmonotonically on grafting density. However, the ion-polymer binding can be modulated by the dielectric properties of the substrate. As a result, surface polarization suppresses ion mobility near insulating interfaces and enhances it near conducting interfaces, even causing a shift from nonmonotonic to monotonic variation with grafting density.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-187
Number of pages5
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 19 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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