Solution Properties of Polyelectrolytes with Divalent Counterions

Carlos G. Lopez, Ferenc Horkay, Ralf Schweins, Walter Richtering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Divalent ions are known to strongly influence the phase behavior, conformation, and flow properties of polyelectrolytes in solution. Here, we report small-angle neutron scattering and viscosity data for the magnesium salt of polystyrene sulfonate (MgPSS) in salt-free water and compare these results with analogous measurements for NaPSS. In a dilute solution, both salts are found to exhibit a rod-like conformation for high degrees of polymerization, but the chain dimensions of MgPSS are significantly smaller than for NaPSS, which is consistent with the lower charge density of MgPSS found from conductivity data. In the semidilute regime, the correlation length scales as ζ ≃ 3.7c-1/2 nm for NaPSS and ζ ≃ 5.4c-1/2 nm for MgPSS. At high concentrations, deviations to weaker power laws are observed for both salts. The variation of the viscosity with the degree of polymerization (νsp ∼N) is consistent with unentangled, Rouse-like dynamics. Fuoss-law-type behavior (νsp ∼c1/2) is observed at low polymer concentrations, which turns into a stretched exponential dependence at high c, perhaps due to an increase in the local friction experienced by polymer segments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10583-10593
Number of pages11
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 23 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this