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Adhesion between oppositely charged polyelectrolytes in salt solution

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mark GeogheganORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The adhesion at the aqueous interface between a polyacid hydrogel and a grafted polycation layer (brush) is shown to be reversible on the addition of sodium chloride, which screens the charges on the gel and brush. Furthermore, it is shown that a double‐network (DN) hydrogel both exhibits adhesive failure and stronger adhesion with the brush than a simple poly(methacrylic acid) (PMAA) hydrogel, which undergoes cohesive failure on detachment. The adhesive force at the hydrogel–brush interface significantly increases after adding dilute salt solution (of 0.001 M). Once the concentration of salt solution is raised above 0.05 M, both the adhesive force and work done in detaching both single‐network and DN hydrogels from the brush surface are notably reduced. This result confirms that reversible adhesion between a hydrogel and polymer brush in salt solutions is possible, although a DN gel is required for adhesive failure.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Alfhaid L, Williams NH, Geoghegan M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Applied Polymer Science

Year: 2020

Volume: 137

Issue: 38

Print publication date: 10/10/2020

Online publication date: 18/02/2020

Acceptance date: 03/02/2020

Date deposited: 21/10/2020

ISSN (print): 0021-8995

ISSN (electronic): 1097-4628

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


DOI: 10.1002/app.49130


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