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Materials 2012, 5(5), 966-984; doi:10.3390/ma5050966

“Pore-Like” Effects of Super-Molecular Self-Assembly on Molecular Diffusion of Poly(Ethylene Oxide)-Poly(Propylene Oxide)-Poly(Ethylene Oxide) in Water

1
Department of Physics, Universität Leipzig, Linnstrasse 5, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
2
MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
3
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine-4, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, 52425 Jülich, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 February 2012 / Revised: 25 April 2012 / Accepted: 9 May 2012 / Published: 24 May 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diffusion in Micropores)
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Abstract

Molecular diffusion of triblock copolymers poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(propylene oxide)-poly(ethylene oxide) in water was studied with the help of Pulsed Field Gradient NMR in the broad range of polymer weight fractions from 0.09 to 0.8. Owing to amphiphilic nature of the molecules, these block copolymers exhibit rich self-organization properties when mixed with water. In particular, at ambient temperatures they form micelles and three liquid crystalline mesophases: cubic, hexagonal, and lamellar. The corresponding super-molecular structure formations were studied with the same block copolymer and at the same temperature. Self-assembly of molecules was shown to produce “pore-like” effects on their self-diffusion properties by imposing severe constraints on the dimensionality of propagation. Diffusion in the hexagonal phase was shown to be quasi one-dimensional in the direction parallel to the long axis of the ordered molecular rods. In the lamellar phase, diffusion was found to be quasi two-dimensional, in the plane of the lamellar structures. The observed diffusion anisotropy was attributed to the effects of the specific molecular ordering on the mesoscopic length scale. View Full-Text
Keywords: anisotropic diffusion; super-molecular structure; pulsed field gradient NMR anisotropic diffusion; super-molecular structure; pulsed field gradient NMR
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ulrich, K.; Galvosas, P.; Kärger, J.; Grinberg, F. “Pore-Like” Effects of Super-Molecular Self-Assembly on Molecular Diffusion of Poly(Ethylene Oxide)-Poly(Propylene Oxide)-Poly(Ethylene Oxide) in Water. Materials 2012, 5, 966-984.

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