Journal article

Breakdown kinetics of aggregates from poly(ethylene glycol-bl-propylene sulfide) di- and triblock copolymers induced by a non-ionic surfactant

We explored the effects of addition of the nonionic surfactant Triton X-100 on the stability of aggregates of poly(ethylene glycol-bl-propylene sulfide) di- and triblock copolymers. Fluorescence spectra of pyrene, used as a probe molecule, elucidated the various stages of transformation from pure copolymeric micelles to surfactant-rich micelles. Turbidity measurements yielded insight into the mechanism of the interaction, the hydrophobicity of the copolymer driving the process. Triton X-100 tends to strongly interact with highly hydrophobic copolymers by inserting into the core of the micellar aggregates. On the other hand, Triton X-100 tends to interact with the corona of micelles formed by less hydrophobic copolymers which, for this reason, are more stable upon addition of this destabilizing agent. Kinetic data give evidence that only monomers, not micelles of surfactant, interact with the copolymer micelles. (C) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


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