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Block copolymer micelles with an intermediate star-/flower-like structure studied by 1H NMR relaxometry

: Weiss, J.; Wienk, H.; Boelens, R.; Laschewsky, A.


Macromolecular chemistry and physics 215 (2014), Nr.9, S.915-919
ISSN: 1022-1352
European Commission EC
FP7; 261863; Bio-NMR
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
Fraunhofer IAP ()

1H NMR relaxation is used to study the self-assembly of a double thermoresponsive diblock copolymer in dilute aqueous solution. Above the first transition temperature, at which aggregation into micellar structures is observed, the trimethylsilyl (TMS)-labeled end group attached to the shell-forming block shows a biphasic T-2 relaxation. The slow contribution reflects the TMS groups located at the periphery of the hydrophilic shell, in agreement with a star-like micelle. The fast T-2 contribution corresponds to the TMS groups, which fold back toward the hydrophobic core, reflecting a flower-like micelle. These results confirm the formation of block copolymer micelles of an intermediate nature (i.e., of partial flower-like and star-like character), in which a part of the TMS end groups folds back to the core due to hydrophobic interactions. image