Pearl-necklace complexes of flexible polyanions with neutral-cationic diblock copolymers

M.D. Golinska, F.A. de Wolf, M.A. Cohen Stuart, A. Hernandez Garcia, R.J. de Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We study the complexation of very asymmetric diblock copolymers (consisting of a cationic block of 12 lysines connected to a 400 amino acid long hydrophilic polypeptide block with a net charge that is nearly zero) with oppositely charged sodium poly(acrylic acid) (NaPAA) with a range of molar masses between 2 and 1300 kg mol-1. For shorter Na-PAA chains, spherical complex coacervate micelles are formed, but for long Na-PAA chains, with molar masses in excess of 250 kg mol-1, atomic force microscopy indicates the presence of pearl-necklace structures. Complexes most likely consist of only a single NaPAA chain, complexed to multiple diblocks. Hence, the size of the complexes can be fully controlled via the NaPAA molar mass. The occurrence of pearl-necklace complexes at higher NaPAA molar masses is attributed to the packing frustration that arises due to the small size of the cationic block of the diblock copolymers
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6406-6411
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • polyelectrolyte complexes
  • core micelles
  • poor solvent
  • adsorption
  • stability
  • brushes
  • films

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Pearl-necklace complexes of flexible polyanions with neutral-cationic diblock copolymers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this