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Solution behavior of double-hydrophilic block copolymers in dilute aqueous solution

  • The self-assembly of double-hydrophilic poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(2-methyl-2-oxazoline) diblock copolymers in water has been studied. Isothermal titration calorimetry, small-angle X-ray scattering, and analytical ultracentrifugation suggest that only single polymer chains are present in solution. In contrast, light scattering and transmission electron microscopy detect aggregates with radii of ca. 100 nm. Pulsed field gradient NMR spectroscopy confirms the presence of aggregates, although only 2% of the polymer chains undergo aggregation. Water uptake experiments indicate differences in the hydrophilicity of the two blocks, which is believed to be the origin of the unexpected aggregation behavior (in accordance with an earlier study by Ke et al. [Macromolecules 2009, 42, 5339-5344]). The data therefore suggest that even in double-hydrophilic block copolymers, differences in hydrophilicity are sufficient to drive polymer aggregation, a phenomenon that has largely been overlooked or ignored so far.

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Author:Olivier Casse, Andriy Shkilnyy, Jürgen Linders, Christian Mayer, Daniel Häussinger, Antje Völkel, Andreas F. Thünemann, Rumiana DimovaORCiDGND, Helmut CölfenGND, Wolfgang P. Meier, Helmut SchlaadORCiDGND, Andreas TaubertORCiDGND
ISSN:0024-9297 (print)
Parent Title (English):Macromolecules : a publication of the American Chemical Society
Publisher:American Chemical Society
Place of publication:Washington
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2012
Year of Completion:2012
Release Date:2017/03/26
First Page:4772
Last Page:4777
Funder:EU; BIOSONS; Swiss National Science Foundation; Swiss Nanoscience Institute; Max Planck Society; Holcim Stiftung Wissen; Max Planck postdoctoral fellowship
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Chemie
Peer Review:Referiert