On the transition between a heterogeneous and homogeneous corona in mixed polymeric micelles

Ilja K. Voets (Corresponding author), Remco Fokkink, Arie de Keizer, Roland P. May, Pieter de Waard, Martien A. Cohen Stuart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Two-dimensional NMR and small-angle neutron scattering experiments were performed on comicelles of poly(N-methy1-2-vinyl pyridinium iodide)-block- poly(ethylene oxide), P2MVP-b-PEO, and poly(acrylic acid)-block-poly(acryl amide), PAA-b-PAAm, in aqueous solutions to study whether a transition between a heterogeneous (Janus-type) and homogeneous corona can be observed upon a variation of parameters that are anticipated to affect the miscibility of the PEO and PAAm coronal blocks. Investigated were the effect of a salt-induced decrease in micellar aggregation number, Pagg for 1 ≤ [NaNO 3] ≤ 279 mM, a temperature increase for 25 ≤ T ≤ 80°C, a variation of the fraction of EO monomers in the corona, fEO, at a fixed corona block length, Ncorona, for 0 ≤ fEO ≤ 1, a decrease in the PEO block length, NPEO, at a fixed PAAm block length, NPAAm, for 200 ≤ NPEO ≤ 450, and finally, upon a decrease in corona block length at NPAAm = NPEO for 100 ≤ Ncorona ≤ 400. These parameters should affect the mixing/demixing transition via their effect on the PEO/PAAm interfacial area (e.g., as in the case of fEO and Pagg) or the relevant Flory-Huggins interaction parameters (e.g., as in the case of temperature). None of the above parameters was shown to yield a transition toward a homogeneous corona wherein the polymer chains are randomly mixed; i.e., the segregation of PAAm and PEO chains within the micellar corona of comicelles of PAA-b-PAAm and P2MVP-b-PEO appears to be rather robust.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12221-12227
Number of pages7
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


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