Temperature responsive complex coacervate core micelles with a PEO and PNIPAAm corona

I.K. Voets, P.M. Moll, A. Aqil, C. Jerome, C. Detrembleur, P. de Waard, A. de Keizer, M.A. Cohen Stuart

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54 Citations (Scopus)


We report on the stability of complex coacervate core micelles, i.e., C3Ms (or PIC, BIC micelles), containing metal coordination polymers. In aqueous solutions these micelles are formed between charged-neutral diblock copolymers and oppositely charged coordination polymers formed from metal ions and bisligand molecules. The influence of added salt, polymer concentration, and charge composition was investigated by using light scattering and cryo-TEM techniques. The scattering intensity decreases strongly with increasing salt concentration until a critical salt concentration beyond which no micelles exist. The critical micelle concentration increases almost exponentially with the salt concentration. From the scattering results it follows that the aggregation number decreases with the square root of the salt concentration, but the hydrodynamic radius remains constant or increases slightly. It was concluded that the density of the core decreases with increasing ionic strength. This is in agreement with theoretical predictions and is also confirmed by cryo-TEM measurements. A complete composition diagram was constructed based on the composition boundaries obtained from light scattering titrations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10833-10840
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry Part B: Condensed Matter, Materials, Surfaces, Interfaces & Biophysical
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • laser-light scattering
  • 2 diblock copolymers
  • block-copolymers
  • raft polymerization
  • aqueous-solutions
  • poly(n-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid)
  • n-isopropylacrylamide
  • polyelectrolyte
  • water
  • aggregation


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