Polyelectrolyte Multilayers

Polyelectrolyte multilayers are ultrathin films made from water-soluble polymers: negative and positive polyelectrolytes. If you dip a substrate in these nontoxic polymers alternately, a uniform film builds up - a few nanometers at a time. Our group has been studying these versatile systems for more than a decade and our publications on the subject vary from understanding the fundamentals to modifying their properties and morphology. Multilayers also offer a wide range of applications in the fields of active coatings, selective membranes and biological substrates.

We have established, since their emergence, the presence of intrinsic (polymer-polymer interactions) and extrinsic (polymer-counterions interactions) charges inside these films. We studied their properties with a wide range of techniques available in our lab and department such as Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Ellipsometry, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), radiolabeling of their ionic content, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), electrochemical and electrokinetic measurements. We also used neutron reflectometry at Oak Ridge National Lab to understand their structure.

Selected publications on polyelectrolyte multilayers

See more in Publications