"The self-assembling, behaviour of a four-arm amphiphilic star block copolymer, (PMMA(73)-b-PAA(143))4, with poly(methyl methacrylate) inner blocks and poly(acrylic acid) Outer blocks in ratio 1:2 (PMMA:PAA) has been investigated in aqueous solutions as a function of pH by dynamic light scattering and cryo-transmission electron microscopy. At low pH (pH <= 5) the amphiphile forms in the presence of salt both spherical and worm-like micellar aggregates that coexist in solution. At high pH (pH > 12) the solution contains mainly spherical micelles and a small number of larger aggregates that have 'pearl-necklace' structure, indicating the disintegration of the worm-like species. In addition to the experiments, computer simulations of the four-arm amphiphilic star block copolymer with the same ratio of the blocks as above were conducted using a coarse-grained model. The simulations predict the formation of the worm-like micellar aggregates at low pH and the spherical ones at high pH. The changes in the morphology of the aggregates are related to the higher degree of ionization of poly(acrylic acid) blocks at high pH and to the swelling of the corona of the micelles by the higher osmotic pressure due to trapped counterions. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved."
- 118 Biotieteet
- 116 Kemia