The role of counter ions and ion dissociation in establishing the equilibrium swelling of balanced and unbalanced polyampholytic hydrogels has been investigated experimentally and theoretically. The swelling dependence on both the net charge offset and the external bath salt concentration has been examined using an acrylamide based polyampholytic hydrogels. By careful consideration of the swelling kinetics, we illustrate the effects of ion dissociation equilibria and counter ion shielding in polyampholytic hydrogels near their balance point where both polyelectrolyte and polyampholyte effects are present. The theory considers a Flory type swelling model where the Coulombic interactions between fixed ions in the hydrogel resemble those of an ionic solid with a Debye screening factor. Theoretical predictions from this model are in qualitative agreement with our experimental results.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry