Alternating adsorption of multivalent ions and oppositely charged polyelectrolytes on colloid particles has been investigated. Multilayer films composed of Tb3+/polysterene sulfonate (PSS) and 4-pyrene sulfate/polyallylamine (PAH) were successfully assembled on polysterene sulfonate (PS) and melamine formaldehyde (MF) latex particles. The amount of assembled material was estimated by fluorescence and the linear growth of the film versus the number of layers was demonstrated. These multilayers are not stable and can be decomposed by salt and temperature. Dissolution of MF particles leads to formation of hollow capsules consisting of multivalent ion/polyelectrolyte multilayers. Comparative analysis of the capsules was done by confocal and scanning force microscopy. Complex hollow spheres consisting of Tb3+/PSS or 4-PS/PAH as an inner shell and stable PSS/PAH as an outer shell were produced. Due to selective permeability of the outer shell after degradation of the inner shell the multivalent ions are released out of the capsule while the polyelectrolytes fill the capsule interior. This is indicative of swelling of the capsule by osmotic pressure. The filled capsules were studied by confocal and scanning electron microscopy. Possibilities of encapsulating macromolecules in defined amounts per capsule are discussed. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
- Polyelectrolyte complex