Structure of adsorbed polyampholyte layers at charged objects


We have developed a theory of adsorption of polyampholyte chains at a charged planar surface and a charged spherical particle from dilute low salt solutions. The adsorption is due to the polarization of polyampholyte chains in the external electric field created by charged objects. The equilibrium polymer density profile is determined by the balance of the long-range polarization-induced attraction of polyampholytes to the charged object and the monomer-monomer repulsion. We demonstrate that the long-range nature of polyampholyte adsorption leads to an adsorbed layer much thicker than the size of individual chains. Using the self-consistent mean-field and scaling approaches, we obtain the detailed structure of the adsorbed layers.