Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) measurements on aqueous solutions of four polyethylene oxide-polypropylene oxide-polyethylene oxide block copolymers (commercially known as Pluronic®)F88, P85, F127 and P123 in the presence of hydrophobic C14Diol (also known as Surfynol® 104) reveal information on micellization, micellar size and micellar transitions. While most hydrophilic F88 (with least PPO/PEO ratio) remained unimers in water at 30°C, other copolymers formed micellar solutions. Surfynol® 104 is sparingly soluble in water to only about ∼0.1 wt%, but on addition to pluronic solution, it gets incorporated in the micellar region of block copolymer which leads to increase in aggregation number and transformation of spherical to ellipsoidal micelles. The added diol-induced micellization in F88, though hydrophilic copolymers F88 and F127 did not show any appreciable micellar growth or shape changes as observed for P85 and P123 (which are comparatively more hydrophobic). The SANS results on copolymer pairs with same molecular weight PPO but different % PEO (viz. F88 and P85, F127 and P123) and with same molecular weight PEO but different PPO (F88 and F127) reveal that the copolymer with large PPO/PEO ratio facilitate micellar transition in the presence of diol. An increase in temperature and presence of added electrolyte (sodium chloride) in the solution further enhances these effects. The micellar parameters for these systems were found out using available software and are reported.
- Block copolymer
- Small angle neutron scattering