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Polymers 2018, 10(9), 1007; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10091007

Conformational Transitions of Polymer Chains in Solutions Characterized by Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer

1
Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210046, China
3
Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Nano-Micro Materials Research, School of Chemical Biology and Biotechnology, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, Shenzhen 518055, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Characterization)
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Abstract

The critical overlap concentration C* is an important concept in polymer solutions and is defined as the boundary between dilute and semidilute regimes. In this study, the chain conformational changes of polystyrene (PS) with both high (Mn = 200,000 Da) and low (Mn = 13,000 Da) molecular weights in cis-decalin were compared by intrachain fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). The random labeling of donor and acceptor chromophores strategy was employed for long PS chains, whereas chain-end labeling was used for short PS chains. By monitoring the spectroscopic intensity ratio between acceptor and donor, the concentration dependence on chain conformation from dilute to semidilute solutions was determined. Both long and short chains exhibit a conformational transition concentration, above which the polymer chains begin to collapse with concentration significantly. Interestingly, for randomly labeled polymer long chains, such concentration is consistent with C* determined from the viscosity result, below which only slight conformational change of polymer chain takes place. However, for the chain-end labeled short chain, the conformational transition concentration takes place earlier than C*, below which no significant polymer conformation change is observed. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymer solution; conformational transition; critical overlap concentration; fluorescence; viscosity polymer solution; conformational transition; critical overlap concentration; fluorescence; viscosity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Qin, L.; Li, L.; Sha, Y.; Wang, Z.; Zhou, D.; Chen, W.; Xue, G. Conformational Transitions of Polymer Chains in Solutions Characterized by Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer. Polymers 2018, 10, 1007.

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