On the stability of nanoparticles coated with polyelectrolytes in high salinity solutions

Rikkert J. Nap, Sung Hyun Park, Igal Szleifer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We have developed and applied a molecular theory that enables the investigation of the interactions between polyelectrolyte coated nanoparticles (NPs) in aqueous solutions. Potential applications of polyelectrolyte-coated NPs involve nanosensors for oil well characterization. To account for the high salinity environment encountered in an oil well or brine solution, we also considered in the theoretical description counterion condensation as well as ion-ion paring. We identified the design criteria to achieve dispersion stability of NPs coated with either polyacrylic acid (pAA), poly acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonate (pAMPS), or an alternating copolymer of acrylic acid and acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonate (pAA-a-AMPS) under brine-like conditions and quantified the effects of NP core size, molecular weight, density of the polyelectrolyte coating, and polymer chemistry. The results were summarized in stability diagrams, which predict the polymer surface coverage and molecular weight that is required for the NP solution to remain dispersed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1689-1699
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2014


  • Brine solutions
  • Grafted polyelectrolytes
  • Molecular theory
  • Nanoparticle coating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'On the stability of nanoparticles coated with polyelectrolytes in high salinity solutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this