Polyelectrolyte solutions + multivalent salts = phase separation

L. Belloni*, M. Olvera de la Cruz, M. Delsanti, J. P. Dalbiez, O. Spalla, M. Drifford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A queous solutions of highly charged flexible polyelectrolytes phase separate in the presence of multivalent counterions. We present a theoretical model which explains this behavior in terms of electrostatic bridging between monomers via the condensed counterions. The «Polymer Reference Interaction Site Model» with the Debye-Hückel closure (equivalent to the «Random Phase Approximation») is sufficient to understand the crucial role of the valency of the counterions, to predict a demixion above a given valency and a redissolution of the precipitate in excess of added salt. The model successfully reproduces the different experimental phase diagrams of polystyrene sulfonate suspensions with different added electrolytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-736
Number of pages10
JournalIl Nuovo Cimento D
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 1994


  • Conference proceedings
  • Phase equilibria, phase transitions, and critical points of specific substances
  • Polymers, elastomers, and plastics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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