2022 Impact factor 1.8
Soft Matter and Biological Physics

Eur. Phys. J. E 5, 41-49

Adsorption of a polyampholyte on a charged spherical particle

E. Zhulina, A.V. Dobrynin and M. Rubinstein

Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-3290, USA


(Received 3 March 2000 and Received in final form 5 July 2000 )

We develop a scaling theory for a single polyampholyte chain adsorbed on a charged spherical particle in a theta-solvent. Adsorption of a polyampholyte molecule is due to its polarization in the electrostatic field of the particle. For large particles with sizes exceeding the thickness of the adsorbed layer, the conformations of the chain are similar to the one found for polyampholyte adsorption on charged planar surface. However, an adsorbed polyampholyte chain forms a self-similar flower-like structure near the particles with sizes smaller than its Gaussian size. These self-similar structures result from the balance of the polarization energy of loops and the excluded volume interactions between monomers. The structure of an adsorbed polyampholyte in the flower-like conformation is similar to that of a neutral star polymer.

36.20.-r - Macromolecules and polymer molecules.
61.25.Hq - Macromolecular and polymer solutions; polymer melts; swelling.
68.45.-v - Solid-fluid interfaces.

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