Polymer Structures

Local and global conformations of flower micelles and flower necklaces formed by an amphiphilic alternating copolymer in aqueous solution


We investigated the local and global conformations of flower micelles and flower necklaces formed by the amphiphilic alternating copolymer of sodium maleate and dodecyl vinyl ether, P(MAL/C12), in an aqueous solution using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and light scattering. SAXS profiles obtained for seven P(MAL/C12) samples with different degrees of polymerization N01 showed sharp minima characteristic to the hydrophobic core formed by dodecyl groups with a low electron density. Both the SAXS profile I(k) and hydrodynamic radius RH for P(MAL/C12) samples with N01<300 are consistently explained by the flower micelle model with minimum-sized loops, while I(k) for micelles formed by P(MAL/C12) samples with N01>300 is explained in terms of the flower necklace model, of which hydrophobic core size determined from I(k) was slightly larger than that from RH. The size distribution of the hydrophobic core is narrower for the flower necklace than for the flower micelle.

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This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 23350055. We are grateful to Dr Yo Nakamura in Kyoto University, Dr Noboru Ohta in SPring-8 and Dr Nobutaka Shimizu in KEK for SAXS measurements. The synchrotron radiation experiments were performed at the BL40B2 in SPring-8 with the approval of the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI) (Proposal #2012B1452, #2011A1049 and #2011A1925) and at the BL-10C in KEK-PF under the approval of the Photon Factory Program Advisory Committee (#2011G557).

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Correspondence to Takahiro Sato.

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Uramoto, K., Takahashi, R., Terao, K. et al. Local and global conformations of flower micelles and flower necklaces formed by an amphiphilic alternating copolymer in aqueous solution. Polym J 48, 863–867 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/pj.2016.49

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