Polyelectrolyte hydrogel instabilities in ionic solutions

English, Anthony E.; Tanaka, Toyoichi; Edelman, Elazer R.
December 1996
Journal of Chemical Physics;12/15/1996, Vol. 105 Issue 23, p10606
Academic Journal
The phase behavior of polyelectrolyte hydrogels has been examined as a function of relative charge composition, bath salt concentration, and solvent quality. Nonlinear swelling instabilities of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and methacrylic acid (MAAc) copolymer hydrogels manifested themselves as discontinuous first order swelling transitions as a function of bath salt concentration. A modified Flory–Huggins model was used to describe the regions of instability when bath salt concentration and solvent quality are considered as control variables. The role of ion dissociation equilibrium in the change from local or smooth transitions to nonlocal or discontinuous swelling transitions is illustrated within the framework of our model. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.


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