Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Structure of linear and star polyelectrolyte solutions as function of concentration



Alexandros Chremos, Jack F. Douglas


We investigate polyelectrolyte stars having a moderate number of arms by molecular dynamics simulations of a coarse-grained model, where both the counter-ions and solvent are treated explicitly, over a range of polyelectrolyte concentrations. This class of polymeric materials is found to exhibit rather distinct static and dynamic properties from linear and highly branched star polyelectrolytes investigated extensively in past studies. The moderately branched polymers are particle-like in many of their properties, while at the same time they exhibit large fluctuations in size and shape as in the case of linear chain polymers. Correspondingly, these fluctuations suppress crystallization at high polymer concentrations, leading apparently to an amorphous rather than a crystalline solid state. We quantify the onset of this transition by measuring the size and shape fluctuations of our model star polyelectrolyte and the static and dynamic structure factor of these solutions over a wide range of polyelectrolyte solutions. Our findings for star polyelectrolytes are similar to those of polymer- grafted nanoparticles having a moderate grafting density, which is natural given the soft and highly deformable shape of these particles.
Journal of Chemical Physics


polyelectrolytes, polymers, solution


Chremos, A. and Douglas, J. (2017), Structure of linear and star polyelectrolyte solutions as function of concentration, Journal of Chemical Physics, [online], (Accessed July 12, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created July 27, 2017, Updated November 10, 2018