Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Advances in Colloid and Interface Science


Rheology is a powerful method for materials characterization that can provide detailed information about the self-assembly, structure, and intermolecular interactions present in a material. Here, we review the use of linear viscoelastic measurements for the rheological characterization of complex coacervate-based materials. Complex coacervation is an electrostatically and entropically-driven associative liquid-liquid phase separation phenomenon that can result in the formation of bulk liquid phases, or the self-assembly of hierarchical, microphase separated materials. We discuss the need to link thermodynamic studies of coacervation phase behavior with characterization of material dynamics, and provide parallel examples of how parameters such as charge stoichiometry, ionic strength, and polymer chain length impact self-assembly and material dynamics. We conclude by highlighting key areas of need in the field, and specifically call for the development of a mechanistic understanding of how molecular-level interactions in complex coacervate-based materials affect both self-assembly and material dynamics.


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