2022 Impact factor 1.8
Soft Matter and Biological Physics

Eur. Phys. J. E 5, 21-27

Elasticity of hollow polyelectrolyte capsules prepared by the layer-by-layer technique

C. Gao1, 2, E. Donath2, S. Moya2, V. Dudnik2, 3 and H. Möhwald2

1  Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, P.R. China
2  Max-Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, 14424 Potsdam, Germany
3  Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M55 3H6, Canada


(Received 25 January 2000 and Received in final form 18 May 2000 )

Osmotically induced deformations (invaginations) of polyelectrolyte capsules were observed in poly(styrene sulfonate, sodium salt) (PSS) solution since PSS of Mw 70 000 is excluded from the capsule interior. It was found that there is a critical osmotic pressure difference at which the initial spherical capsule shape becomes unstable and invaginations are formed. This critical osmotic pressure was obtained as a function of the wall thickness and the capsule size. A theoretical model is provided which describes the relationship between the critical osmotic pressure, the elasticity modulus, the capsule wall thickness, and the capsule radius. The model was verified by measuring the invagination onset as a function of particle radius and wall thickness. The elasticity modulus of the PSS/PAH (polyallylamine hydrochloride) polyelectrolyte multilayer was measured as a function of wall thickness and capsule diameter. The modulus ranges between 500 and 750 MPa, which indicates a relatively strongly interconnected polyelectrolyte multilayer structure. With higher molecular weight PAH the elasticity modulus of the PSS/PAH multilayer was slightly enhanced.

46.32.+x - Static buckling and instability.
68.60.Bs - Mechanical and acoustical properties.

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2001