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Title: Self-Exchange of Polyelectrolyte in Multilayers: Diffusion as a Function of Salt Concentration and Temperature
Polymer chain diffusion within a hydrated polyelectrolyte complex, PEC, has been measured using an ultrathin film format prepared by the layer-by-layer method. Isotopically labeled self-exchange of deuterated poly(styrene sulfonate), dPSS, with undeuterated PSS of the same narrow molecular weight distribution permitted reliable estimates of whole-molecule diffusion coefficients, D. Narrow molecular weight distribution poly(diallyldimethylammonium), PDADMA, was used as the polycation for the PEC. Extensive pretreatment of starting films was undertaken to remove residual stress, anisotropy, and layering. PSS/PDADMA “multilayers,” PEMUs, thin enough to provide substantial exchange of polyelectrolyte, even with diffusion coefficients as low as 10–16 cm2 s–1, as a function of salt concentration and temperature were measured for this PEC, which has a glass-transition temperature, Tg, close to room temperature. Two molecular weights of dPSS, about 15 and 100 kDa, presumed to be below and above the entanglement molecular weight, respectively, both diffused faster at higher temperatures with respective activation energies, Ea, of about 21 and 53 kJ mol–1, the latter about the same as Ea for the place exchange between two pairs of PSS:PDADMA. Studies of the linear viscoelastic response of macroscopic PECs showed a difference of about 8 °C in the Tg of the two lengths of PSS more » complexed with the same PDADMA. Increasing concentrations of NaCl influenced D of 100 kDa PSS but not 15 kDa PSS at room temperature. D was faster in the region of the film near the solution interface, again attributed to a lower Tg caused by greater water content at this interface. « less
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