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RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

Model Polyelectrolyte Solutions and Complexes


Material Measurement Laboratory, Materials Science and Engineering Division

opportunity location
50.64.21.B8026 Gaithersburg, MD

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Kathryn L. Beers 202-578-8353
Vivek M. Prabhu 301.975.3657


Polyelectrolytes remain a poorly understood area in polymer physical chemistry. This is partially due to the strong coupling between ion-containing polymer and fast-moving counter ions. The coupled diffusion in low-ionic strength solutions and the formation of “dynamic domain clusters” are generally observed in linear and dendrimer polyelectrolyte solutions, protein solutions, charged colloid solutions, and even low-molecular mass salt species. This research opportunity involves phase diagram, structure, and dynamics of polyelectrolyte solutions and solutions of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes in order to verify theoretical and simulation predictions for solutions with strong and long-range correlations. We are particularly interested in the chain conformation and dynamics in the one-phase region of oppositely charged polyelectrolyte solutions. Systems under investigation include polyelectrolytes of novel chain architecture (multi-arm star and block copolymers). These systems serve as excellent candidates for strongly interacting solutions and designer thermoreversible polyelectrolyte gels. Light and neutron scattering and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy are the main techniques used for this opportunity.


key words
Polymer; Polyelectrolyte; Solutions; Complex coacervate; gels; Biomaterials; Light scattering; Neutron scattering;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$82,764.00 $3,000.00
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