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The biphasic effect of ABA triblock copolymers on the self-assembly of surfactants: insight from dissipative particle dynamics

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Abstract

Morphological transition of micelles is significant to the synthesis of mesoporous silica materials, drug delivery, and many other applications of nanotechnology. Here, employing dissipative particle dynamics simulations, the cooperative assembly of surfactants and triblock copolymers is studied. The simulation results illustrate that ABA triblock copolymers with a particular block ratio can produce a “biphasic” effect on surfactant micelles, meaning that the surfactant micelles can be enlarged or shortened by regulating the proportion of ABA triblock copolymers. Further investigation of the free energy and the mean square displacement of premicelles indicates that the fusion barrier and diffusivity of premicelles highly depends on the proportion of ABA triblock copolymers. The denser/loose hydrophilic outer shell is attributed to higher/lower diffusion and lower/higher diffusion capacities, and the micellar morphology is therefore changed. These findings not only enrich our understanding on the self-assembly of surfactants with polymers, but also offer a novel strategy to control micellar structures.

Graphical abstract: The biphasic effect of ABA triblock copolymers on the self-assembly of surfactants: insight from dissipative particle dynamics

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Jan 2019, accepted on 09 May 2019 and first published on 09 May 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9ME00012G
Mol. Syst. Des. Eng., 2019, Advance Article

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    The biphasic effect of ABA triblock copolymers on the self-assembly of surfactants: insight from dissipative particle dynamics

    J. Li, J. Wang, Q. Yao, Y. Zhang, Y. Yan and J. Zhang, Mol. Syst. Des. Eng., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9ME00012G

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