Unusual behaviour of poly(ethylene-oxide) in aqueous mixtures
Argonne National Laboratory, IPNS, IL 60439, Argonne, USA
2 Faculty of Science, Physics Department, Tlemcen University, B.P. 119, 13000, Tlemcen, Algeria
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The model system of poly(ethylene-oxide) or PEO, where the changing hydrogen-bond connectivity of the water has large effect on the conformation of the polymer chain, in mixtures of water and acetonitrile, is experimentally studied. The results show the existence of a threshold water content in the system at which the 3d connectivity of the water network begins. Unusual expansion of the polymer chain, an effect larger than that observed in either of the pure solvents, is seen. Upon addition of small amounts of a monovalent salt, binding of ion to polymer takes place in pure acetonitrile solutions. Salt ions begin to co-ordinate with water molecules at the same solvent ratio as the threshold for water network formation. Ions now no longer complex to PEO; instead, hydrogen bonding of water to the polymer strongly dictates conformation in this regime.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2004