Polyelectrolyte Complex Coacervates: Recent Developments and New Frontiers

Artem M. Rumyantsev, Nicholas E. Jackson, Juan J. De Pablo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Polyelectrolyte complex coacervates represent a wide class of materials with applications ranging from coatings and adhesives to pharmaceutical technologies. They also underpin multiple biological processes, which are only now beginning to be deciphered. The means by which molecular-scale architecture propagates into macroscopic structure, thermodynamics, and dynamics in complex coacervates is of central concern in physics, chemistry, biology, and materials science. How does polyion charge sequence dictate thermodynamic behavior? How does one tailor rheology or interfacial tension using macromolecular architecture? What emergent functionality from polymer complex coacervates has biological consequences? Recent developments in coacervate science shed light on many of these issues and raise exciting new challenges for the close integration of theory, simulations, and experiment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-176
Number of pages22
JournalAnnual Review of Condensed Matter Physics
StatePublished - Mar 10 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Polyelectrolyte complex coacervates
  • binodals
  • microphase separation
  • polymer dynamics
  • sequence-controlled polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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