American Chemical Society
ma3c00283_si_001.pdf (21.8 MB)

Micellization of Diblock Copolymers in Polymeric Solvents

Download (21.8 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-25, 21:31 authored by Yapeng Diao, Yuci Xu
We study micellization for AB diblock copolymers of length N1 with the volume fraction of the insoluble block fB in A polymeric solvents of length N by dilute solution thermodynamics. For short-chain solvents, the micelle is “wet”, and the critical micelle condition is given by (χN)c.m.−1/2∼(fBN1)−1/2N1/2 with the optimal aggregation number at the transition mc.m.*N1/2p3/2 (p=b2/v02/3 is the stiffness parameter), in agreement with the extended Lifshitz theory. However, the micellization point for the “dry” micelle is (χN)c.m.−1/2∼(fBN1)−1N with mc.m.*∼(fBN1)1/2p3/2 in the long-chain solvents. A theoretical analysis shows that the micellization point is a universal function of the apparent scaling variable xmN/fBN1. Interestingly, on combining the scaling behavior of mc.m.*, (χN)c.m. shows a universal scaling behavior with an intrinsic scaling variable x ≡ (pN)3/2/m*fBN1, which has a clear physical meaning as the ratio between the pervaded volume of the polymeric solvent and the physical volume of the micellar core. In addition, after proper nondimensionalizing, the micelle density profile and the interfacial thickness at the micellization point also show universal behaviors with both xm and x. Importantly, micelles with several to thousands of chains show great potential for application in drug and gene delivery diagnostics, nanoreactors, and microcapsules.