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Issue 38, 2017
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Polymer conformation in nanoscopic soft confinement

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We study the conformation of a polymer (polyethylene glycol) in a nanoscopic soft confinement with attractive walls. The polymer is added to a water-in-oil microemulsion based on the deuterated anionic surfactant AOT, d-octane and D2O. Three different droplet sizes and up to three polymers per droplet are investigated with small angle scattering combining X-rays and neutrons. This allows determining the confinement size and polymer conformation on identical samples. Whereas polymer conformation in bulk is found to be well described with the model of a Gaussian coil its radius of gyration is drastically increased in the droplet. At the same time it is compressed on a local scale. This supports the picture of a polymer strongly adsorbed on the surfactant layer with a thickness of several Angstroms.

Graphical abstract: Polymer conformation in nanoscopic soft confinement

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The article was received on 14 Jun 2017, accepted on 09 Aug 2017 and first published on 10 Aug 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01179B
Soft Matter, 2017,13, 6709-6717

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    Polymer conformation in nanoscopic soft confinement

    B. Kuttich, I. Grillo, S. Schöttner, M. Gallei and B. Stühn, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 6709
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01179B

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