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Nanoparticles of Block Ionomer Complexes from Double Hydrophilic Poly(acrylic acid)-b-poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(acrylic acid) Triblock Copolymer and Oppositely Charged Surfactant

Zhiping Peng1, Yuelong Sun2, Xinxing Liu2 and Zhen Tong2*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, South China University of Technology, 510640, Guangzhou, China

2 Research Institute of Materials Science, South China University of Technology, 510640, Guangzhou, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2009, 5:89-95  doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9448-x

Published: 6 October 2009


The novel water-dispersible nanoparticles from the double hydrophilic poly(acrylic acid)-b-poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(acrylic acid) (PAA-b-PEO-b-PAA) triblock copolymer and oppositely charged surfactant dodecyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (DTAB) were prepared by mixing the individual aqueous solutions. The structure of the nanoparticles was investigated as a function of the degree of neutralization (DN) by turbidimetry, dynamic light scattering (DSL),ζ-potential measurement, and atomic force microscope (AFM). The neutralization of the anionic PAA blocks with cationic DTAB accompanied with the hydrophobic interaction of alkyl tails of DTAB led to formation of core–shell nanoparticles with the core of the DTAB neutralized PAA blocks and the shell of the looped PEO blocks. The water-dispersible nanoparticles with negative ζ-potential were obtained over the DN range from 0.4 to 2.0 and their sizes depended on the DN. The looped PEO blocks hindered the further neutralization of the PAA blocks with cationic DTAB, resulting in existence of some negative charged PAA-b-PEO-b-PAA backbones even when DN > 1.0. The spherical and ellipsoidal nature of these nanoparticles was observed with AFM.

Nanoparticles; Block ionomer complexes; Water-dispersible; Double hydrophilic triblock copolymer; Surfactant