Increased layer interdiffusion in polyelectrolyte films upon annealing in water and aqueous salt solutions

Thomas Krebs, Hazel L. Tan, Gunther Andersson, Harald Morgner, P. Gregory Van Patten
2006 Physical Chemistry, Chemical Physics - PCCP  
As-deposited films of multilayered polyelectrolytes are considered to be non-equilibrium structures. Due to the strong attraction between oppositely charged polyions, polyelectrolyte interdiffusion is thought to be suppressed during the adsorption process. Equilibration is promoted by a decrease of the electrostatic attraction between polyion pairs. We have used neutral impact collision ion scattering spectroscopy to investigate the influence of polyelectrolyte multilayer annealing in water and
more » ... aqueous 1 M NaCl solutions at different temperatures (20 and 70 1C) on the increase in interpenetration of a single polyelectrolyte layer throughout the whole film. The multilayers were composed of poly(4-vinylpyridinium) and poly(4-styrenesulfonate). Contrast between neighboring layers was established by labelling the layer in question with the heavy atom ruthenium. It is found that both temperature and salt increase layer interpenetration, whereas salt has a stronger influence than temperature. From numerical simulations polyelectrolyte diffusion coefficients were evaluated for the different annealing conditions. The influence of temperature and salt on the equilibration of the film is interpreted in terms of increased screening of polyion charges and binding of small counterions to polyion monomeric units.
doi:10.1039/b609440f pmid:17119655 fatcat:2ajj4ccwxva2rm2dowrzhua3am