Scientific article
Open access

Formation of Complexes between Nanoparticles and Weak Polyampholyte Chains. Monte Carlo Simulations

Published inMacromolecules, vol. 44, no. 6, p. 1661-1670
Publication date2011

The electrostatic driven complex formation between a weak polyampholyte chain and one positively charged nanoparticle is investigated using Monte Carlo simulations. The influence of parameters such as the polyampholyte contour length, number and size of blocks, nanoparticle surface charge density, and solution properties, such as the pH and ionic concentration, on the PA titration curves is investigated. It is shown that the presence of one positively charged nanoparticle significantly modifies the acid/base properties of the weak polyampholyte by, on the one hand, promoting the formation of negatively charged monomers and, on the other hand, limiting the number of positively charged monomers. The electrostatic interactions of this system can be modified by pH, ionic concentration, and nanoparticle surface charge. The competition between attractive and repulsive, intramolecular and intermolecular electrostatic interactions leads to a wide range of possible PA conformations at the nanoparticle surface, which have a direct impact on the nanoparticle stabilized or destabilized solutions. Extended conformations, electrostatic rosettes, and dense multiplayer structures are observed. Nonetheless, the intramolecular interactions between the positively and negatively charged PA monomers, in particular at the isoelectric point, are found to play important and subtle roles for both the isolated and adsorbed chain conformations. It is also found that nanoparticle charge inversion is an important ingredient for the formation of multilayer structures at the nanoparticle surface.

Citation (ISO format)
ULRICH, Serge et al. Formation of Complexes between Nanoparticles and Weak Polyampholyte Chains. Monte Carlo Simulations. In: Macromolecules, 2011, vol. 44, n° 6, p. 1661–1670. doi: 10.1021/ma1024895
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1520-5835

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