In this paper, we present a study of micellar structures formed by poly(styrene)-poly(butadiene) (PS10-PB10; the numbers indicate the molecular weight in kg mol-1) diblock copolymers and PB10-PS20-PB10 triblock copolymers in different n-alkane solvents. Particular emphasis is placed on the dynamic properties of these micelles under equilibrium which are studied using a novel time-resolved small-angle neutron scattering technique. The results show that the structures of the micelles are very similar for both the diblock and triblock copolymers, which allows a direct comparison of the dynamic properties. A novel logarithmic relaxation is found for both the triblock and the diblock micelles which is not consistent with theoretical expectations. However, for the diblock micelles, the relaxation kinetics seem to approach the rate and the single exponential decay predicted by Halperin & Alexander [Macromolecules, (1989), 22, 2403-2412] when the micellar cores are strongly swollen with solvent. For the triblock micelles a logarithmic relaxation is found for all cases as an effect of additional topological knots present even in highly swollen micellar cores. This behavior is assigned to an increased coupling of chain motion within the dense confined core - an effect which seems to vanish in diblock micelles when the core is sufficiently swollen.
- Exchange kinetics
- Time-resolved small-angle neutron scattering
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)