The rheological behavior of aqueous micellar solutions of a triblock copolymer, bearing two small hydrophobic end-blocks of polybutadiene and a large hydrophilic middle block of poly(sodium methacrylate), was studied in the presence of a cationic (dodecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide) or an anionic (sodium dodecyl sulfate) surfactant. Depending on the concentration and the charges of the interacting (with the water soluble middle block) surfactants, the rheological behavior of the triblock copolymer micelles (which resemble compact spheres, based on scattering studies) can be altered dramatically. The surfactant additives can either solidify a liquid-like system (low triblock concentration, dominated by loops) or alternatively liquefy a gel (high triblock concentration, dominated by bridges). Apparently, the hydrophobic tails of the surfactants prefer to join the hydrophobic polybutadiene cores of the triblocks, whereas by increasing the surfactant concentration the core functionality can be changed. In addition interactions between the oppositely charged hydrophilic surfactant heads and middle blocks can yield complexes producing new hydrophobic domains. These findings suggest possibilities for controlling complex fluid rheology.
- Micelles in water
- Poly(butadiene-b-sodium methacrylate-b-butadiene)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics