Stimuli-responsive behavior of Micelles prepared from a Poly(vinyl alcohol)-block-poly(acrylic acid)-block-poly(4-vinylpyridine) triblock Terpolymer

Poggi, Elio; Guerlain, Claire; Debuigne, Antoine; Detrembleur, Christophe; Gigmes, Didier; Höppener, Stephanie; Schubert, Ulrich S.; Fustin, Charles-André; Gohy, Jean-Francois
A poly(vinyl alcohol)-block-poly(acrylic acid)-block-poly(4-vinylpyridine) triblock terpolymer (PVOH-b-PAA-b-P4VP) is prepared by hydrolyzing a poly(vinyl acetate)-block-poly(acrylonitrile)-block-poly(4-vinylpyridine) precursor (PVAc-b-PAN-b-P4VP) synthesized by a combination of cobalt-mediated radical polymerization (CMRP) and nitroxide mediated polymerization (NMP). The PVOH-b-PAA-b-P4VP terpolymer is further micellized in water and the accordingly obtained micellar structures are characterized by a combination of dynamic light scattering (DLS) and cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) as a function of pH. Well-defined micelles are observed in the whole pH range except for pH values below 4.5 where non-aggregated chains (unimers) are present. The formation of micelles can be rationalized by the formation of insoluble PAA/P4VP inter-polyelectrolyte complexes in the 4.5–6 pH range while hydrophobic P4VP cores are observed at pH values above 6. Finally, the effect of the addition of different salts on the micellar characteristic features is investigated.
Type of Publication:
European Polymer Journal
418 - 425