Colloidal Complexes from Poly(vinyl amine) and Carboxymethyl Cellulose Mixtures
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The phase behaviors of polyelectrolyte complexes formed from dilute solutions of poly(vinyl amine) (PVAm) and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) were determined as a function of overall composition and pH. The phase diagram included regions with soluble complexes, colloidal complexes, and macroscopic precipitates. Colloidal complexes were stable when either polymer was in sufficient excess to give electrosteric stabilization. The polymer mixing ratios giving complexes with an isoelectric point of 7 could be predicted from a simple model using the degree of ionization vs pH data for PVAm and CMC. The model failed at extreme pH values because not all added polymer was incorporated into the complexes. At pH 7, essentially all the added polymer was incorporated into the colloidal complex or precipitate, as long as the mixing ratio was within +/-10% of charge stoichiometry. The interaction of PVAm and CMC at pH 7 was endothermic, supporting the generally accepted viewpoint that the interaction of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes is entropy-driven. Although the colloidal complexes had a broad particle size distribution, the average particle size was rather insensitive to mixing ratio. By contrast, complex size was sensitive to electrolyte concentration with no complex formation when the NaCl concentration was > or =2 M.
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