Title: Polymer Physics and PCE Superplasticizers Revisited
Author(s): Yanwei Wang, Xin Shu, Yong Yang, Qianping Ran, and Jiaping Liu
Publication: Symposium Paper
Appears on pages(s): 305-318
Keywords: polymer conformation; comb architecture; persistence length; wormlike chain; radius of gyration; polyelectrolyte; adsorption layer thickness.
Conformational properties of comb-shaped copolymer polyelectrolytes such as polycarboxylate ether-based superplasticizers (PCEs) in aqueous solutions and at liquid/solid interfaces are fundamental to their performances as polymeric dispersants. Pioneering studies of Flatt and coworkers have demonstrated the great relevance of polymer theory to the PCE community. The present work revisits this topic with an emphasis on the semi-flexible characteristics of the anionic backbone decorated with flexible side chains. A simple physical picture, where the backbone adopts a "train-like" conformation on the surface, effectively as a two-dimensional worm-like chain, with the side chains mimicking surface-tethered chains, is presented for PCEs in the strongly adsorbed state.