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.
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