Charged Dendrimers in Trivalent Salt Solutions under the Action of DC Electric Fields

AK Das and PY Hsiao, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, 118, 6265-6276 (2014).

DOI: 10.1021/jp4116589

The structural properties and electrophoretic mobility of charged dendrimers in 3:1 electrolyte solutions subjected to direct current electric fields are studied using molecular dynamics simulations. The simulated dendrimer size is studied in zero fields and found to scale as R-g similar to N-0.29. The dendrimers exhibit shape distortions when the applied electric field is larger than some critical value, which scales with the number of dendrimer monomers as E-z,E-crit similar to N-0.39(6). Families of curves, such as the curves of the square of radius of gyration, the asphericity, the degree of prolateness, and the electrophoretic mobility of dendrimers, are shown to collapse to single, master curves in electric fields through appropriate scaling. This reflects the fractal characteristics of these systems. The density profile of the surface monomers and salt cations reveals two pronounced combination effects between the polarization of dendrimer complexes and stripping-off of the condensed salt cations from the dendrimer surface.

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