Block copolymer micellisation in a common solvent modeled by self-consistent field calculations

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Abstract

Recently it was shown that it is possible that block copolymers form micellar solutions in non-selective solvents. Such micellisation is the result of a pure form of self-assembly. A molecular realisation is given by asymmetric Poly-(methacrylic acid)-block-Poly(ethylene oxide) copolymers (PMAA-b-PEO) in water at a pH <5. As both the (short) methacrylic acid block and the (long) ethylene oxide are water soluble in the conditions used, it was concluded that the driving force is interchain hydrogen bonding between the PMAA and the PEO units. The mismatch in length of the blocks forces one block to accumulate at the micellar periphery and this eventually stops the phase separation process. We have performed self-consistent field calculations to examine this scenario. With very reasonable parameters we are able to mimic the properties of these micelles, elaborate the pH dependence and confirm the trend found for the electrophoretic mobility. A nontrivial result of the calculations is that the ratio EO/MAA in the core is close to two
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-66
JournalMacromolecular Symposia
Volume278
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • statistical thermodynamics
  • bilayer-membranes
  • micelles
  • adsorption
  • stability
  • molecules

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