Controlling Complex Coacervation via Random Polyelectrolyte Sequences

Artem M. Rumyantsev, Nicholas E. Jackson, Boyuan Yu, Jeffrey M. Ting, Wei Chen, Matthew V. Tirrell, Juan J. De Pablo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The utilization of chemical sequence control in polymeric materials is key to enabling material design on par with biomacromolecular systems. One important avenue for scalable sequence-controlled polymers leverages the random copolymerization of distinct monomers, with the statistical distribution of the monomeric sequence arising from reaction kinetics following a first-order Markov process. Here we utilize the framework of the random phase approximation (RPA) to develop a theory for the phase behavior of symmetric polyelectrolyte coacervates whose chemical sequences are dictated by simple statistical distributions. We find that a high charge "blockiness" within the random sequences favors the formation of denser and more salt-resistant coacervates while simultaneously increasing the width of the two-phase region. We trace these physical effects to the increased cooperativity of Coulomb interactions that results from increased charge blockiness in oppositely charged polyelectrolytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1302
Number of pages7
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 15 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Controlling Complex Coacervation via Random Polyelectrolyte Sequences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this