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Scientific article
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English

Simulations and scattering functions of polyelectrolyte-macroion complexes

Published inColloid and polymer science, vol. 283, no. 3, p. 317-328
Collection
  • Open Access - Licence nationale Springer
Publication date2004
Abstract

Using Monte Carlo simulations of complex formation between a polyelectrolyte chain and an oppositely charged macroion, we calculated the scattering function of the polyelectrolyte chain. We investigated the case of the isolated polyelectrolyte chain and studied the effect and influence of key parameters such as the ionic concentration of the solution, polyelectrolyte length and intrinsic rigidity on the scattering function. Then, we focused on the polyelectrolyte–macroion complex by calculating the structure factor S(q) of the adsorbed polyelectrolyte chain. Typical conformations ranging from coils, extended chains to solenoids are revealed and the corresponding S( q) analysed. The effects of ionic concentration, chain length and intrinsic rigidity and relative size ratio between the polyelectrolyte and the macroion are investigated. Important effects on the structure factor of the adsorbed polyelectrolyte are observed when the macroion is partially or totally wrapped by the polyelectrolyte. Distance correlations between the polyelectrolyte monomer positions at the surface of the macroion induce the formation of peaks in the fractal regime of S( q) . For semiflexible chains, when solenoid conformations are observed, the position of the peaks in the fractal regime corresponds directly to the separation distance between the turns. The formation of a protruding tail in solution is also observed through the formation in the fractal regime of a linear domain.

Keywords
  • Polyelectrolyte–macroion complexes
  • Structure factor
  • Monte Carlo simulations
Citation (ISO format)
CARNAL, Fabrice, LAGUECIR, Abohachem, STOLL, Serge. Simulations and scattering functions of polyelectrolyte-macroion complexes. In: Colloid and polymer science, 2004, vol. 283, n° 3, p. 317–328. doi: 10.1007/s00396-004-1152-x
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ISSN of the journal0303-402X
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