Polymer-metal complexes in polyelectrolyte multilayer films as catalysts for oxidation of toluene

Almagul Mentbayeva, Alyiya Ospanova, Zheneta Tashmuhambetova, Valeria Sokolova, Svetlana Sukhishvili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


We report on the binding of metal ions (Me 2+; Co 2+ and Cu 2+) with weak polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEMs), as well as on catalytic activity of PEM-Me 2+ films for oxidation of toluene. Using several types of PEM films constructed using branched polyethyleneimine (BPEI) or quaterinized poly-4-vinylpyridines (QPVPs) as polycations and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) or poly(styrene sulfonate) (PSS) as polyanions, we found that binding of Co 2+ and Cu 2+ ions with a PEM matrix can occur both through coordination to polycationic amino groups and/or ionic binding to polyacid groups. The amount of metal ions loaded within the film increased linearly with film thickness and was strongly dependent on polyelectrolyte type, film assembly pH, and fraction of permanent charge in polymer chains. Among various PEM-Me 2+ systems, BPEI/PAA-Co 2+ films assembled at pH 8.5 show the best catalytic performance, probably because of the preservation of high mobility of Co 2+ ions coordinated to amino groups of BPEI in these films. With BPEI/PAA-Co 2+ films, we demonstrated that films were highly permeable to reagents and reaction products within hundreds of nanometers of the film bulk; i.e., film catalytic activity increased linearly with layer number up to 30 bilayers and slowed for thicker films.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11948-11955
Number of pages8
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - Aug 14 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry

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