Nano Archive

Nanoblossoms: Light-induced conformational changes of cationic polyelectrolyte stars in the presence of multivalent counterions

Plamper, Felix A. and Walther, Andreas and Mueller, Axel H. E. and Ballauff, Matthias (2007) Nanoblossoms: Light-induced conformational changes of cationic polyelectrolyte stars in the presence of multivalent counterions. NANO LETTERS, 7 (1). pp. 167-171. ISSN Print Edition ISSN: 1530-6984; Web Edition ISSN: 1530-6992

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Official URL: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nl0625269

Abstract

We analyze the structure of star-shaped polyelectrolytes in the presence of di- and trivalent counterions, and we use the gained knowledge to manipulate the polyelectrolyte's conformation by light. By applying dynamic light scattering and atomic force microscopy, we demonstrate that, at constant ionic strength, the arms of the cationic polyelectrolyte retract when adding multivalent counterions. Adding trivalent hexacyanocobaltate(III) ions leads to a collapse of the polyelectrolyte star even at low concentrations. This is shown by analysis of the star polyelectrolytes in solution as well as in the adsorbed state on mica surfaces. Considerably higher salt concentrations are necessary to obtain the same contraction of the polyelectrolyte star if the divalent tetracyanonickelate(II) ions are used. Sufficiently high multivalent counterion concentration leads finally to the precipitation of the polymer from the solution. We demonstrate that we can switch a polyelectrolyte star from the collapsed to the expanded state by transforming the trivalent hexacyanocobaltate(III) ions into a mixture of mono- and divalent ions by UV light. Thus, these collapsed stars react to light like ``nanoblossoms''. Moreover, polyelectrolyte stars precipitated through addition of the trivalent hexacyanocobaltate(III) ions can be redissolved by irradiation with light (photoinduced dissolution). Hence, the conformation and interaction of star polyelectrolytes can be switched by light. Possible applications of this novel way of manipulating polymers are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Physical Science > Quantum phenomena
ID Code:2183
Deposited By:M T V
Deposited On:24 Dec 2008 14:46
Last Modified:24 Dec 2008 14:46

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