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Binding of Monovalent and Multivalent Metal Cations to Polyethylene Oxide in Methanol Probed by Electrophoretic and Diffusion NMR

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journal contribution
posted on 13.09.2016, 00:00 by Marianne Giesecke, Fredrik Hallberg, Yuan Fang, Peter Stilbs, István Furó
Complex formation in methanol between monodisperse polyethylene oxide (PEO) and a large set of cations was studied by measuring the effective charge acquired by PEO upon complexation. Quantitative data were obtained at a low ionic strength of 2 mM (for some salts, also between 0.5 and 6 mM) by a combination of diffusion nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electrophoretic NMR experiments. For strongly complexing cations, the magnitude of the acquired effective charge was on the order of 1 cation per 100 monomer units. For monovalent cations, the relative strength of binding varies as Na+ < K+ ≈ Rb+ ≈ Cs+, whereas Li+ exhibited no significant binding. All polyvalent cations bind very weakly, except for Ba2+ that exhibited strong binding. Anions do not bind, as is shown by the lack of response to the chemical nature of anionic species (perchlorate, iodide, or acetate). Diffusion experiments directly show that the acetate anion with monovalent cations does not associate with PEO. Considering all cations, we find that the observed binding does not follow any Hofmeister order. Instead, binding occurs below a critical surface charge density, which indicates that the degree of complexation is defined by the solvation shell. A large solvation shell prevents the binding of most multivalent ions.