2023 Impact factor 1.8
Soft Matter and Biological Physics
Eur. Phys. J. E 2, 289-300

Stretching necklaces

T.A. Vilgis, - A. Johner - J.F. Joanny

Laboratoire Européen Associé, Institut Charles Sadron, 6 rue Boussingault, F- 67083 Strasbourg, Cedex, France

Received 6 December 1999

Polyelectrolytes in poor solvents show a necklace structure where collapsed polymer pearls are linked to stretched strings. In the present paper the elasticity of such chains is studied in detail. Different deformation regimes are addressed. The first is the continuous regime, where many pearls are present. A continuous force extension relationship is calculated. The main contribution comes from the tension balance and the electrostatic repulsion of consecutive pearls. The main correction term stems from the finite size of the pearls, which monitors their surface energy. For a finite amount of pearls discontinuous stretching is predicted. Finally counterion effects are discussed qualitatively.

36.20.-r Macromolecules and polymer molecules - 61.25.Hq Macromolecular and polymer solutions; polymer melts; swelling - 61.41.+e Polymers, elastomers, and plastics

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