The micellar behavior of a polyethylene oxide block-polypropylene oxide block-polyethylene oxide copolymer Pluronic L64 in aqueous urea solutions (urea concentrations 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 M) by physical methods, viz. cloud point and viscosity, spectral techniques (Fourier transform infrared, fluorescence, and nuclear magnetic resonance), differential scanning calorimetry, and dynamic light scattering is reported. The presence of urea causes an increase in the clouding temperature, critical micellization temperature, and the structural transition (spherical micelles to ellipsoid/rod) temperature; different methods showed good agreement. Urea induces demicellization of L64, enhancing accumulation of water molecules surrounding micelles. L64 micelles show growth at high temperatures, but this micellar transition is suppressed by urea, as proven by calorimetric and viscometric methods. The results are discussed in terms of the molecular mechanism underlying the effects of urea.
- Aggregation number
- Critical micellization temperature (CMT)