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Soft Matter and Biological Physics

Eur. Phys. J. E 8, 457-460 (2002)
DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2002-10043-y

Rapid Note

Swelling of cross-linked polyelectrolyte gels

S. Schneider and P. Linse

Physical Chemistry 1, Center for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Lund University, P.O. Box 124, S-221 00 Lund, Sweden


(Received 10 April 2002 and Received in final form 28 August 2002 Online publication 1 October 2002)

A model of a cross-linked polyelectrolyte gel has been examined using Monte Carlo simulations. The simple model contained a charged defect-free network represented by linked charged beads and explicit counterions. Pressure-density relations for the polyelectrolyte gel, a corresponding non-ionic polymer gel, and several partly or fully degraded gels have been determined. The polyelectrolyte gel displayed a very large swelling capacity, in agreement with experiments. The swelling mechanism and chain properties are discussed and foundations of current theories on gel swelling are examined.

82.70.Gg - Gels and sols.
61.25.Hq - Macromolecular and polymer solutions; polymer melts; swelling.
82.60.Lf - Thermodynamics of solutions.

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2002