Polystyrene nanoparticles were synthesized by emulsion polymerization of styrene. They were functionalized using the conventional surfactant N,N-dimethyloctylamine-N-oxide (ODAO), the tri-block copolymer (ethylene oxide)13(propylene oxide)30(ethylene oxide)13 (L64) and their mixtures. To this purpose, dynamic light scattering and calorimetric experiments were carried out and provided information consistent to each other. The L64 adsorption is Langmuir-type in the copolymer dilute regime and generates complex structures at larger concentrations. In the region where ODAO is in the unimeric state, the adsorption process is cooperative leading to hemi-micelle formation at the polystyrene nanoparticle/water interface. In the concentrated region (above the critical micellar concentration), ODAO forms micelles which interact with the solid substrate most likely through ion-dipole forces. The ODAO addition to the dispersion containing polystyrene particles already wrapped by L64 creates an ODAO thickness around the dispersed particles the size of which is equal to that in the absence of the copolymer, but is built at much lower concentrations. A plausible interpretation of this behavior is that the adsorbed L64 confers to the nanoparticles surface novel properties which enhance the attractive forces with the ODAO molecules.
|Rivista||Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2008|
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