We present a set of low-frequency electrical conductivity measurements of solutions of differently charged, salt-free polyelectrolytes in poor- and in good-solvent conditions, in the semidilute concentration regime. The data have been analyzed and discussed in light of the necklace model for hydrophobic polyelectrolytes recently proposed by Dobrynin [Macromolecules 29, 2974 (1996)] that predicts the chains to collapse into spheroidal cores connected by narrow strings. By varying the quality of the solvent, we have measured the polyion equivalent conductance λp in an extended concentration range in the semidilute regime and have demonstrated that this parameter is influenced by the polyion chain conformation, giving further support, when the poor-solvent condition prevails, to the picture of a string of electrostatic blobs. On the contrary, in good-solvent condition, the electrical conductivity data are in reasonable good agreement with the picture of an extended chain consisting of a collection of electrostatic blobs. These electrical conductivity measurements, in light of scaling theory, furnish new experimental support for the necklace model for hydrophobic polyions in poor solvents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics