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Importance of Ionic Polarization Effect on the Electrophoretic Behavior of Polyelectrolyte Nanoparticles in Aqueous Electrolyte Solutions

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journal contribution
posted on 12.01.2012 by Li-Hsien Yeh, Kuan-Liang Liu, Jyh-Ping Hsu
The electrophoresis of a polyelectrolyte, an entirely porous, charged nanoparticle, in various types of aqueous electrolyte solution is modeled taking account of the presence of multiple ionic species, and its applicability is verified by the experimental data of succinoglycan in the literature. We show that, in addition to the electroosmotic flow around a polyelectrolyte, two types of competing polarization effect are also significant: counterion polarization and co-ion polarization, both of them depend largely on the thickness of the double layer. The presence of these two polarization effects yields profound and interesting electrophoretic behaviors that are distinct to polyelectrolytes. The results gathered provide necessary theoretical background for the interpretation of various types of electrophoresis data in practice. Typical examples include that of a nanopore-based sensing device used, for instance, in DNA sequencing.