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Self-Assembly Kinetics of Amphiphilic Dendritic Copolymers

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journal contribution
posted on 10.02.2017 by Cuiyun Zhang, You Fan, Yunyi Zhang, Cong Yu, Hongfei Li, Yu Chen, Ian W. Hamley, Shichun Jiang
The self-assembly process of amphiphilic dendritic copolymers (ADPs) with a hydrophilic core and a hydrophobic shell was investigated via laser light scattering. The self-assembly occurs via a fast step and a slow step with different relaxation times. At the critical micelle concentration (CMC), the fusion of small micelles results in the rapid increase of the micelle size in the fast step. The slow step is associated with equilibrium through the fission and fusion of the micelles. The micelle size increases with the unimer concentration, which leads to a lower micelle concentration. The lower micelle concentration makes the relaxation time of the fast step increase with increasing unimer concentration. However, the fusion of larger micelles at higher concentration is more efficient to increase micelle size. The fusion of small micelles with large micelles at higher concentration accelerates the approaching equilibrium of the micelles except for the fission and fusion of micelles. With the increasing degree of amidation (DA), the relaxation time in the fast step increases and in the slow step it decreases.

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