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Issue 37, 2013
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One and two dimensional self-assembly of comb-like amphiphilic copolyelectrolytes in aqueous solution

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Abstract

The spontaneous self-assembly of a novel comb-like amphiphilic copolyelectrolyte in water was studied by small angle neutron scattering and freeze fracture transmission electron microscopy. The copolymer was synthesized by randomly grafting pendant quaternized alkylamine moieties to a poly(styrene) chain. The effects of the grafting density and the length of the alkyls (C12–C18) on the structure were investigated systematically. The polymers were soluble over a broad range of grafting densities (35–80 mol%) where they assembled either into lamellae (35–55 mol%) consisting of a double layer of polymers or cylinders (65–80 mol%) formed by bundling of several chains. At higher concentrations, electrostatic repulsion drove smectic and hexagonal ordering of, respectively, the lamellae and the rods. TEM images showed micro-domains of stacked lamellae that were in some cases closed upon themselves to form onion-like particles. Exposure of hydrophobic patches at the surface due to defects of the self-assembly led to the formation of bonds between lamellae or cylinders. As a consequence visco-elastic solutions or hydrogels were formed at higher concentrations.

Graphical abstract: One and two dimensional self-assembly of comb-like amphiphilic copolyelectrolytes in aqueous solution

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Article information


Submitted
10 Jul 2013
Accepted
26 Jul 2013
First published
29 Jul 2013

Soft Matter, 2013,9, 8931-8937
Article type
Paper

One and two dimensional self-assembly of comb-like amphiphilic copolyelectrolytes in aqueous solution

C. Limouzin-Morel, F. Dutertre, W. Moussa, C. Gaillard, I. Iliopoulos, D. Bendejacq, T. Nicolai and C. Chassenieux, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 8931
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM51895G

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