J. Phys. II France
Volume 2, Numéro 5, May 1992
Page(s) 1109 - 1119
DOI: 10.1051/jp2:1992189
J. Phys. II France 2 (1992) 1109-1119

The anomalous Kerr effect: implications for polyelectrolyte structure

M. E. Cates

Cavendish Laboratory, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HE, G.B.

(Received 17 December 1991, accepted 22 January 1992)

In recent experiments on the Kerr effect (electric birefringence) in polyelectrolyte solutions without salt, an anomaly was reported. For a certain intermediate concentration range, the sign of the induced birefringence is opposite to that found at either low or high concentration. An attempt is made to rationalize this data in terms of a locally disc-like clustering of anisometric, polarizable effective particles. If this picture is correct, the birefringence anomaly may help distinguish between competing theoretical models of semidilute polyelectrolyte structure.

61.25H - 61.30G - 87.45

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