The Hofmeister series: Specific ion effects in aqueous polymer solutions

Saeed Zajforoushan Moghaddam, Esben Thormann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Specific ion effects in aqueous polymer solutions have been under active investigation over the past few decades. The current state-of-the-art research is primarily focused on the understanding of the mechanisms through which ions interact with macromolecules and affect their solution stability. Hence, we herein first present the current opinion on the sources of ion-specific effects and review the relevant studies. This includes a summary of the molecular mechanisms through which ions can interact with polymers, quantification of the affinity of ions for the polymer surface, a thermodynamic description of the effects of salts on polymer stability, as well as a discussion on the different forces that contribute to ion–polymer interplay. Finally, we also highlight future research issues that call for further scrutiny. These include fundamental questions on the mechanisms of ion-specific effects and their correlation with polymer properties as well as a discussion on the specific ion effects in more complex systems such as mixed electrolyte solutions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Pages (from-to)615-635
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Electrolyte
  • Hofmeister series
  • Hydration
  • Specific ion effects
  • Thermo-responsive polymer

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