Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.263, No.2, 478-497, 2003
Polarizaability and complex conductivity of dilute suspensions of spherical colloidal particles with charged (polyelectrolyte) coatings
The dielectric relaxation of polyelectrolyte-coated colloidal particles is examined via "exact" numerical solutions of the governing electrokinetic equations. The charged polymer coatings are characterized by a nominal charge density, thickness, and permeability. Brush-like segment density profiles are considered here, but more sophisticated segment and charge density profiles are accommodated by the model. The role of added counterions and nonspecific adsorption is considered briefly before examining how the experimentally measured conductivity and dielectric constant increments reflect the frequency of the applied electric field, the strength of the electrolyte, and characteristics of the polymer coatings, namely the charge, charge density, and permeability. Finally, a strategy is suggested by which dielectric spectroscopy and electrophoresis can be used to characterize polymer-coated particles. This approach complements experiments where electroviscous effects such as dynamic light scattering and sedimentation are weak. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.