Title: Effective electrostatic interactions among charged thermo-responsive microgels immersed in a simple electrolyte

This work explores the nature and thermodynamic behavior of the effective electrostatic interactions among charged microgels immersed in a simple electrolyte, taking special interest in the effects due to the thermally induced variation of the microgel size while the remaining parameters (microgel charge and concentration, plus the amount of added salt) are kept constant. To this end, the rigorous approach obtained from applying the precise methodology of the dressed ion theory to the proper definition of the effective direct correlation functions, which emerge from tracing-out the degrees of freedom of the microscopic ions, is employed to provide an exact description of the parameters characterizing such interactions: screening length, effective permittivity, and renormalized charges. A model solution with three components is assumed: large permeable anionic spheres for the microgels, plus small charged hard spheres of equal size for the monovalent cations and anions. The two-body correlations among the components of this model suspension, used as the input for the determination of the effective interaction parameters, are here calculated by using the hyper-netted chain approximation. It is then found that at finite microgel concentrations the values of these parameters change as the microgel size increases, even though the ionic strength of themore » supporting electrolyte and the bare charge of the microgels remain fixed during this process. The variation of the screening length, as well as that of the effective permittivity, is rather small, but still interesting in view of the fact that the corresponding Debye length stays constant. The renormalized charges, in contrast, increase markedly as the microgels swell. The ratio of the renormalized charge to the corresponding analytic result obtained in the context of an extended linear response theory allows us to introduce an effective charge that accounts for the non-linear effects induced by the short-ranged association of microions to the microgels. The behavior of these effective charges as a function of the amount of added salt and the macroion charge, size, and concentration reveals the interplay among all these system parameters.« less

Departamento de Física, Cinvestav del I. P. N., Av. Instituto Politécnico Nacional 2508, Mexico, Distrito Federal, C. P. 07360 (Mexico)

Publication Date:

OSTI Identifier:

22493725

Resource Type:

Journal Article

Resource Relation:

Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 144; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: (c) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)