Faculté des sciences

Impact of volume transition on the net charge of poly-$N$-isopropyl acrylamide microgels

Braibanti, Marco ; Haro-Pérez, Catalina ; Quesada-Pérez, M. ; Rojas-Ochoa, Luis Fernando ; Trappe, Véronique

In: Physical Review E, 2016, vol. 94, no. 3, p. 032601

We explore the electrostatic properties of poly-N-isopropyl acrylamide microgels in dilute, quasi-de-ionized dispersions and show that the apparent net charge of these thermosensitive microgels is an increasing function of their size, the size being conveniently varied by temperature. Our experimental results obtained in a combination of light scattering, conductivity, and mobility... More

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    Summary
    We explore the electrostatic properties of poly-N-isopropyl acrylamide microgels in dilute, quasi-de-ionized dispersions and show that the apparent net charge of these thermosensitive microgels is an increasing function of their size, the size being conveniently varied by temperature. Our experimental results obtained in a combination of light scattering, conductivity, and mobility experiments are consistent with those obtained in Poisson-Boltzmann cell model calculations, effectively indicating that upon shrinking the number of counterions entrapped within the microgels increases. Remarkably, this behavior shows that the electrostatic energy per particle remains constant upon swelling or deswelling the microgel, resulting in a square root dependence of the net charge on the particle radius.