Aggregation Behaviors of PEO-PPO-ph-PPO-PEO and PPO-PEO-ph-PEO-PPO at an Air/Water Interface: Experimental Study and Molecular Dynamics Simulation

The block polyethers PEO-PPO-ph-PPO-PEO (BPE) and PPO-PEO-ph-PEO-PPO (BEP) are synthesized by anionic polymerization using bisphenol A as initiator. Compared with Pluronic P123, the aggregation behaviors of BPE and BEP at an air/water interface are investigated by the surface tension and dilational viscoelasticity. The molecular construction can influence the efficiency and effectiveness of block polyethers in decreasing surface tension. BPE has the most efficient ability to decrease surface tension of water among the three block polyethers. The maximum surface excess concentration (Γmax) of BPE is larger than that of BEP or P123. Moreover, the dilational modulus of BPE is almost the same as that of P123, but much larger than that of BEP. The molecular dynamics simulation provides the conformational variations of block polyethers at the air/water interface.