Adsorption of cationic polyacrylamide at the cellulose-liquid interface: A neutron reflectometry study

Jielong Su, Christopher J. Garvey, Stephen Holt, Rico F. Tabor, Bjorn Winther Jensen, Warren Batchelor, Gil Garnier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The layer thickness and density of high molecular weight cationic polyacrylamide (CPAM) adsorbed at the cellulose-water interface was quantified by neutron reflectometry. The thickness of a full monolayer of CPAM of constant molecular weight (13MD) but different charge densities, adsorbed with or without NaCl (10-3M), was studied. Thin cellulose films (40±7Å) of roughness 2O interface was 43±4Å on cellulose and 13±2Å on silicon, an order of magnitude smaller than the CPAM radius of gyration. At constant molecular weight, the thickness of the CPAM layer adsorbed on cellulose increases with polymer charge density (10±1Å at 5%). Addition of 10-3M NaCl decreased the thickness of CPAM layer already adsorbed on cellulose. However, the adsorption layer on cellulose of a CPAM solution equilibrated in 10-3M NaCl is much thicker (89±11Å for 40% CPAM). For high molecular weight CPAMs adsorbed from solution under constant conditions, the adsorption layer can be varied by 1 order of magnitude via control of the variables affecting electrostatic intra- and inter-polymer chain interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-99
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 5
Externally publishedYes


  • Adsorption
  • Cellulose
  • CPAM
  • Polylelectrolyte
  • Polymer layer
  • Reflectometry
  • Solid-liquid interface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Medicine(all)


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