Self-assembly behavior of well-defined polymethylene-block-poly(ethylene glycol) copolymers in aqueous solution

Abstract
A series of well-defined amphiphilic polymethylene-b-poly(ethylene glycol) (PM-b-PEG) diblock copolymers, with different hydrophobic chain length, were synthesized by combining Diels-Alder reaction with polyhomologation. The successful synthetic procedure was confirmed by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) and 1H NMR spectroscopy. These block copolymers self-assembled into spherical micelles in aqueous solutions and exhibit low critical micelle concentration (CMC) of 2–4 mg/mL, as determined by fluorescence spectroscopy using pyrene as a probe. Measurements of the micelle hydrodynamic diameters, performed by dynamic light scattering (DLS), cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), revealed a direct dependence of the micelle size from the polymethylene block length.

Citation
Alkayal N, Zapsas G, Bilalis P, Hadjichristidis N (2016) Self-assembly behavior of well-defined polymethylene-block-poly(ethylene glycol) copolymers in aqueous solution. Polymer 107: 415–421. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.polymer.2016.09.074.

Acknowledgements
Research reported in this publication supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. The assistance of Dr Rachid Sougrat, KAUST Advanced Nanofabrication Imaging and Characterization Core Laboratory, in cryo-TEM experiments is gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher
Elsevier BV

Journal
Polymer

DOI
10.1016/j.polymer.2016.09.074

Additional Links
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0032386116308734

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