Scaling Theory of Polyelectrolyte Solutions

Journal Article (Academic article)

We extend and generalize the scaling picture of de Gennes et al. and Pfeuty to both unentangled and entangled regimes of intrinsically flexible polyelectrolyte solutions. In semidilute solution the electrostatic persistence length of a polyelectrolyte is assumed to be proportional to the Debye screening length. If the salt concentration is low, the unentangled semidilute concentration regime spans three to four decades in polymer concentration. In this regime the dynamics of the chain is Rouse-like with viscosity weakly increasing with concentration cm (Fuoss law), relaxation time decreasing with concentration TRoUSe c-1/2, and diffusion coefficient independent of concentration. Polyelectrolytes should form entanglements at the same relative viscosity as neutral polymer solutions (?/ as 50?/,). In the entangled regime of salt-free polyelectrolytes we predict the viscosity c3/2, relaxation time to be independent of concentration, and diffusion coefficient Dseif c-1/2. Our predictions are found to compare favorably with experiments.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dobrynin, AV; Colby, RH; Rubinstein, M

Published Date

  • 1995

Published In

  • Macromolecules

Volume / Issue

  • 28 /

Start / End Page

  • 1859 - 1871