We are interested in understanding the fundamentals of polyelectrolyte behavior. This includes polyelectrolytes both in solution and in multilayer films. The goal is to be able to predict and understand how/why polyelectrolytes complex, and how this is influenced by complicated factors such as ion pairing, charge regulation, and counterion condensation. We are modeling the thermodynamics of polyelectrolyte phase separation (complex coacervation), and also conducting experiments in this area as well. We are also interested in understanding the self-assembly of polyelectrolytes in multilayer (layer-by-layer, LbL) films. This includes fundamental experimental studies on model systems.


Huiling Li

PhD Student

Jian Lin

Master’s Student

Ying Liu


Example Project

The following compressed folder contains MATLAB scripts along with a manual needed to perform a flash calculation in a mixture of oppositely and strongly charged polyelectrolytes and salt of known bulk composition and salinity based on the molecular thermodynamic model of complex coacervation developed in our lab (c.f. Salehi, A. Larson, R.G. Macromolecules 2016 (49) pp. 9706-9719). Support for the development of this code by the National Science Foundation (NSF) grant number DMR 1403335 is gratefully acknowledged.

Flash Calculation for Mixture of Oppositely Charged Strongly Dissociating Polyelectrolytes.zip