Swelling and collapse of polyelectrolyte gels in equilibrium with monovalent and divalent electrolyte solutions

De Wei Yin, Monica Olvera De La Cruz, Juan J. De Pablo

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54 Scopus citations

Abstract

The swelling of polyelectrolyte (PE) gels by 1:1 and 2:1 salts is studied via osmotic ensemble Monte Carlo simulations at constant osmotic pressure and electrolyte chemical potential of a reservoir phase in equilibrium with a model PE network. Large molecular weight gels exhibit a remarkable swelling response to small changes in 2:1 salt concentration. Gel collapse is accompanied by the formation of a previously unknown heterogeneous nanostructure, predicted by theory and observed in simulations, consisting of regions dense in monomers coexisting with regions rich in mono- and divalent ions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number194907
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume131
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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