Designing Polyelectrolyte Coatings: Coacervates, Assemblies, and Complex Materials

ACS Webinars

Understanding the fundamentals of designing polyelectrolyte coatings, which can be seen as a bio-inspired approach due to chemical sequences that are analogous to proteins at a molecular level, enables scientists to engineer materials and coatings useful in a wide range of industries and applications. From thickeners in foods to super plasticizers in concrete to water-soluble variants investigated by the medical industry for coatings on implants and controlling drug release in the body…polyelectrolytes have enormous potential to support innovative new technologies for those able to tune these complex chemical sequences to their needs.

Learn from two scientists working in the field and their approaches for designing diverse materials and complex coacervates using polyelectrolytes, including applications in pharmaceuticals, protective coatings, and textiles. Sarah L. Perry, Associate Professor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will discuss the molecular engineering of polyelectrolyte complex materials to create tailored bio-inspired materials that can be used in applications ranging from temperature-stable vaccines to coatings and fibers. Jaime C. Grunlan, Leland T. Jordan ’29 Chair of the Texas A&M University will describe how environmentally-benign coatings prepared using water-soluble polyelectrolytes can be used to stop fires, protect food from spoilage, and prevent shorts in high voltage electronics.

This ACS Webinar is moderated by Rong Yang, Assistant Professor of Cornell University and co-produced with the ACS Division of Polymer Chemistry.

What You Will Learn

  • How polyelectrolyte complexation is a bio-inspired approach to designing a range of diverse materials
  • Why patterning of charges provides a direct handle to modulate the phase behavior of complex coacervates
  • How coacervate materials can be used to improve the shelf life of vaccines 
  • How water-based polyelectrolyte coatings can impart super gas barrier to commodity polymer film (e.g. PET) that rivals metal and metal oxide coatings
  • Why environmentally-benign, intumescent coatings created from water-based polyelectrolyte coacervates render cotton, polyester, and nylon blended textiles self-extinguishing (with relatively low added weight)
  • How functional polyelectrolyte treatments can be deposited on various substrates at high speed using roll-to-roll coating technology


What an attendee said about this ACS Webinar!

Loved the information and correlation of the two speakers with the theoretical and practical applications. Learned about some exciting new ideas and technologies. Their approaches help me in taking new approaches with my own work and ACS Webinars helps provide that inspiration.

Meet the Experts

Jaime C. Grunlan
Leland T. Jordan ’29 Chair, TEES Senior Faculty Fellow and Professor J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University

Sarah L. Perry
Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Rong Yang
Assistant Professor, Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University

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