Polyelectrolyte micelles in salt-free solutions: Micelle size and electrostatic potential

K Miliou and LN Gergidis and C Vlahos, JOURNAL OF POLYMER SCIENCE PART B-POLYMER PHYSICS, 56, 924-934 (2018).

DOI: 10.1002/polb.24608

The structural and electrical characteristics of polyelectrolyte micelles formed by diblock copolymers with one charged block and one solvophobic block are studied by the means of molecular dynamics simulations using the Primitive model at different Bjerrum lengths. The properties of interest are the mean aggregation number, the shape, the electrical potential as a function of the distance of the micelle's center of mass and the zeta potential. We found that for partially charged short A blocks the micelles' mass distribution function is at least bimodal, indicating the coexistence of small and large micelles in agreement with theoretical and experimental findings. The zeta potential is not a monotonic function of the length of the charged block. (C) 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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