Dynamic Coupling in Unentangled Liquid Coacervates Formed by Oppositely Charged Polyelectrolytes.

TitleDynamic Coupling in Unentangled Liquid Coacervates Formed by Oppositely Charged Polyelectrolytes.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsC Aponte-Rivera, and M Rubinstein
Start Page1783
Pagination1783 - 1800
Date Published02/2021

We develop a scaling theory that predicts the dynamics of symmetric and asymmetric unentangled liquid coacervates formed by solutions of oppositely-charged polyelectrolytes. Symmetric coacervates made from oppositely-charged polyelectrolytes consist of polycations and polyanions with equal and opposite charge densities along their backbones. These symmetric coacervates can be described as mixtures of polyelectrolytes in the quasi-neutral regime with a single correlation length. Asymmetric coacervates are made from polycations and polyanions with unequal charge densities. The difference in charge densities results in a double semidilute structure of asymmetric coacervates with two correlation lengths, one for the high-charge-density and the other for the low-charge-density polyelectrolytes. We predict that the double-semidilute structure in asymmetric coacervates results in a dynamic coupling which increases the friction of the high-charge-density polyelectrolyte. This dynamic coupling increases the contribution to the zero-shear viscosity of the high-charge-density polyelectrolyte. The diffusion coefficient of the high-charge-density polyelectrolyte is predicted to depend on the concentration and degree of polymerization of the low-charge-density polyelectrolyte in the coacervate if the size of the low-charge-density polymer is smaller than the correlation length of the high-charge-density polymer. We also predict a non-monotonic salt concentration dependence of the zero-shear viscosity of asymmetric coacervates.

Short TitleMacromolecules