Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.279, No.2, 351-356, 2004
Electrical properties of multilayers from low- and high-molecular-weight polyelectrolytes
The formation of stable multilayer films by using as constituents sodium poly(4-styrene sulfonate) (PSS) and poly(4-vinyl pyridine) (PVP) was studied by electrooptics. A strong increase in basicity of the pyridine rings in the electrical field of the oppositely charged PSS chains was suggested to be the driving force for multilayer film formation. A linear increase in the film thickness was registered after deposition of the first three layers, with no dependence on the polyelectrolyte molecular weight. The electrooptical effect was found to increase with increasing area of each next layer, but depended on the molecular weights of both polymers. Polarization of "condensed" counterions along the chains of the last-adsorbed layer was suggested to explain this dependence. Following the counterion dynamics, we come to the conclusion that the electrical properties of the top layer govern the electrooptical behavior of the PSS/PVP film. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.