Scaling Theory of Polyelectrolyte Solutions

TitleScaling Theory of Polyelectrolyte Solutions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsAV Dobrynin, RH Colby, and M Rubinstein
Start Page1859
Pagination1859 - 1871
Date Published01/1995

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.

Short TitleMacromolecules