Morphology of hybrid polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene oxide) micelles: Analytical ultracentrifugation and SANS studies

LM Bronstein, IA Khotina, DM Chernyshov, PM Valetsky, GI Timofeeva, LV Dubrovina, B Stein, RL Karlinsey, A Triolo, A Weiden, F Lo Celso, R Triolo, AR Khokhlov. Morphology of hybrid polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene oxide) micelles: Analytical ultracentrifugation and SANS studies. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 299(2), 944 (2006).


Morphology and structure of aqueous block copolymer solutions based on polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene oxide) (PS-b-PEO) of two different compositions, a cationic surfactant, cetyl pyridinium chloride (CPC), and either platinic acid (H2PtCl6·6H2O) or Pt nanoparticles were studied using a combination of analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and small angle neutron scattering (SANS). These studies combining methods contributing supplemental and analogous structural information allowed us to comprehensively characterize the complex hybrid systems and to discover an isotope effect when H₂O was replaced with D₂O. In particular, TEM shows formation of both micelles and larger aggregates after incorporation of platinic acid, yet the amount of aggregates depends on the H₂PtCl₆·6H₂O concentration. AUC reveals the presence of micelles and micellar clusters in the PS-b-PEO block copolymers solution and even larger (supermicellar) aggregates in hybrids (with CPC). Conversely, SANS applied to D₂O solutions of the similar species indicates that micelles are spherical and no other micellar species are found in block copolymer solutions. To reconcile the SANS and AUC data, we carried out AUC examination of the corresponding D₂O block copolymer solutions. These measurements demonstrate a pronounced isotope effect on micelle aggregation and micelle size, i.e., no micelle aggregation in D₂O solutions, revealing good agreement of AUC and SANS data.


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Robert L. Karlinsey, PhD

Dr. Robert L. Karlinsey earned a BS in Physics and PhD in Chemical Physics, holds several patents, and has published in multiple fields including dentistry, chemistry, and materials science. His lifelong struggles with his own dental decay ultimately inspired him to investigate the remineralization of teeth.