Characterization of Diblock Copolymer Order-Order Transitions in Semidilute Aqueous Solution Using Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy

Christopher G. Clarkson, Joseph R. Lovett, Peter Jeppe Madsen, Steven P. Armes, Mark Geoghegan

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The temperature and pH-dependent diffusion of poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)-block-poly(2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate) nanoparticles prepared via polymerization-induced self-assembly in water is characterized using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). Lowering the solution temperature or raising the solution pH induces a worm-to-sphere transition and hence an increase in diffusion coefficient by a factor of between four and eight. FCS enables morphological transitions to be monitored at relatively high copolymer concentrations (10% w/w) compared to those required for dynamic light scattering (0.1% w/w). This is important because such transitions are reversible at the former concentration, whereas they are irreversible at the latter. Furthermore, the FCS data suggest that the thermal transition takes place over a very narrow temperature range (less than 2 °C). These results demonstrate the application of FCS to characterize order-order transitions, as opposed to order-disorder transitions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Volume36
Issue number17
Pages (from-to)1572-1577
Number of pages6
ISSN1022-1336
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy
  • Polymerization-induced self-assembly
  • RAFT polymerization
  • Spheres
  • Worms

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