Micellization of PEO/PS Block Copolymers at the Air/Water Interface: A Simple Model for Predicting the Size and the Aggregation Number of the Circular Surface Micelles.
Deschênes, L., Bousmina, M., and Ritcey, A.M. (2008). "Micellization of PEO/PS Block Copolymers at the Air/Water Interface: A Simple Model for Predicting the Size and the Aggregation Number of the Circular Surface Micelles.", Langmuir, 24(8), pp. 3699-3708. doi : 10.1021/la702141h
Isotherms of monolayers of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) and polystyrene (PS) triblock copolymers spread at the air/water interface were obtained by film balance technique. In a low concentration regime, the PEO segments surrounding the PS cores behave the same way as in monolayers of PEO homopolymers. Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) films prepared by transferring the monolayers onto mica at various surface pressures were analyzed by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The results reveal that these block copolymers form micelles at the air/water interface. Within the micelles, the PS blocks act as anchoring structures at the interface. In several cases, aggregation patterns were modified by the dewetting processes that occur in Langmuir-Blodgett films transferred to solid substrates. High transfer surface pressures and mestastable states favored these changes in morphology. A flowerlike surface micelle model is proposed to explain the organization of the surface circular micelles. The model can be generalized and applied to diblock copolymers as well. The model permits prediction of the aggregation number and the size of circular surface micelles formed by PEO/PS block copolymers at the air/water interface.