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Polymers 2018, 10(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10010032

Micellization Thermodynamics of Pluronic P123 (EO20PO70EO20) Amphiphilic Block Copolymer in Aqueous Ethylammonium Nitrate (EAN) Solutions

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York (SUNY), Buffalo, NY 14260-4200, USA
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Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 25 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Micelles)
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Abstract

Poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(propylene oxide)-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO-PPO-PEO) block copolymers (commercially available as Pluronics or Poloxamers) can self-assemble into various nanostructures in water and its mixtures with polar organic solvents. Ethylammonium nitrate (EAN) is a well-known protic ionic liquid that is expected to affect amphiphile self-assembly due to its ionic nature and hydrogen bonding ability. By proper design of isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) experiments, we determined the enthalpy and other thermodynamic parameters of Pluronic P123 (EO20PO70EO20) micellization in aqueous solution at varied EAN concentration. Addition of EAN promoted micellization in a manner similar to increasing temperature, e.g., the addition of 1.75 M EAN lowered the critical micelle concentration (CMC) to the same extent as a temperature increase from 20 to 24 °C. The presence of EAN disrupts the water solvation around the PEO-PPO-PEO molecules through electrostatic interactions and hydrogen bonding, which dehydrate PEO and promote micellization. At EAN concentrations lower than 1 M, the PEO-PPO-PEO micellization enthalpy and entropy increase with EAN concentration, while both decrease above 1 M EAN. Such a change can be attributed to the formation by EAN of semi-ordered nano-domains with water at higher EAN concentrations. Pyrene fluorescence suggests that the polarity of the mixed solvent decreased linearly with EAN addition, whereas the polarity of the micelle core remained unaltered. This work contributes to assessing intermolecular interactions in ionic liquid + polymer solutions, which are relevant to a number of applications, e.g., drug delivery, membrane separations, polymer electrolytes, biomass processing and nanomaterial synthesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: micelle; self-assembly; surfactant; block copolymer; Pluronic; Poloxamer; poly(ethylene oxide); ionic liquid; water; calorimetry micelle; self-assembly; surfactant; block copolymer; Pluronic; Poloxamer; poly(ethylene oxide); ionic liquid; water; calorimetry
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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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He, Z.; Alexandridis, P. Micellization Thermodynamics of Pluronic P123 (EO20PO70EO20) Amphiphilic Block Copolymer in Aqueous Ethylammonium Nitrate (EAN) Solutions. Polymers 2018, 10, 32.

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