I. Hoffmann, S. Prévost, M. Medebach, S. Rogers, N. J. Wagner, M. Gradzielski
April 11, 2013
Mixtures of the cationic, cellulose based polyelectrolyte JR 400 and the anionic surfactant sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) have been used to control the rheological behaviour of aqueous solutions. Around charge equilibrium precipitation takes place, but both for the surfactant-rich and the polymer-rich side homogeneous solutions are formed. In these monophasic regions the rheology depends strongly on the mixing ratio between the two components and highly viscous systems can be obtained on the polyelectrolyte rich side upon the addition of relatively small amounts of surfactant. Here the viscosity increases by more than four orders of magnitude before reaching the phase boundary of precipitation. Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) showed the formation of an interconnected network of rodlike aggregates composed of a polyelectrolyte/surfactant complex, which explains the observed high viscosity due to the high degree of interconnection by the polyelectrolyte.