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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name



Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

First Advisor

Yingxi Zhu


Polyelectrolyte and microgel were used as a model to investigate the structure and dynamics of complex liquid. In chapter 2, a coacervate system that is associated with net neutral polybetaine and cationic P2VP was applied in this research work as an environment for polyelectrolyte whose confirmation is characterized by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. Surprisingly, the chain confirmation of the positive charged polyelectrolyte, P2VP, behaves oppositely compared to that in dilute solution. With the increased pH, the chain remains swollen upon coacervation or even slightly more expanded while the chain would collapse due to the low charge density at high pH. Schematic illustration of f-P2VP and the phase behavior is further investigated. In chapter 3 and 4, the spatial confinement of the microgel system suspension at near supercool region and supercool region under different confinement wall was investigated under confocal microscope and the dynamics was further extracted by image analysis. We found the softer wall can weaken the confinement effect and result in a higher mobility, even for the hard microgel suspension. The onsite height of confinement effect is increase with decreased stiffness of the wall. The mobile cluster which treated as dynamics structure and the pair correlation function under different surface confinement was further investigated. The size of mobile cluster decreased and a more disorder structure is observed when stiffness of the confinement wall reduced.

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