Micelles of poly(isoprene-b-2-vinylpyridine-b-ethylene oxide) terpolymers in aqueous media and their interaction with surfactants

G. Koutalas*, S. Pispas, Nikolaos Hadjichristidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Well-defined poly(isoprene-b-2-vinylpyridine-b-ethylene oxide) (PI-P2VP-PEO) triblock terpolymers were synthesized by anionic polymerization high-vacuum techniques. The terpolymers formed spherical three-layer (onion-type) micelles in neutral and acidic pH aqueous media as evidenced by static and dynamic light scattering. In pure water, kinetically frozen micelles with a core composed of a soft PI inner part and a hard P2VP outer shell and protected by a neutral PEO corona were formed. In acidic media the core was formed by the soft PI hydrophobic segment, whereas the corona consisted of an inner cationic polyelectrolyte P2VPH+ part and an outer PEO shell. The aggregation numbers were found to be high in all cases, due to the high hydrophobicity of the core-forming blocks. In the latter case an increase in size was observed due to the electrostatic repulsions between the P2VPH + chains in the inner part of the corona, which is also responsible for the lower aggregation numbers observed in the acidic solutions. The interaction of these onion-type micelles with cationic (DTMAB) and anionic (SDS) surfactants led to the formation of mixed polymer/surfactant aggregates. Their structural characteristics could be varied by combining changes in surfactant type and concentration, solution pH and type of electrostatic interaction, leading to interesting, block-copolymer-based, environmentally responsive colloidal systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-464
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Physical Journal E
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

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