Linear and Nonlinear Dynamic Behavior of Polymer Micellar Assemblies Connected by Metallo-Supramolecular Interactions
Polymers , Volume 11; doi:10.3390/polym11101532
Abstract: The linear and nonlinear rheology of associative colloidal polymer assemblies with metallo-supramolecular interactions is herein studied. Polystyrene-b-poly(tert-butylacrylate) with a terpyridine ligand at the end of the acrylate block is self-assembled into micelles in ethanol, a selective solvent for the latter block, and supramolecularly connected by complexation to divalent metal ions. The dependence of the system elasticity on polymer concentration can be semi-quantitatively understood by a geometrical packing model. For strongly associated (Ni2+, Fe2+) and sufficiently concentrated systems (15 w/v%), any given ligand end-group has a virtually 100% probability of being located in an overlapping hairy region between two micelles. By assuming a 50% probability of intermicellar crosslinks being formed, an excellent prediction of the plateau modulus was achieved and compared with the experimental results. For strongly associated but somewhat more dilute systems (12 w/v%) that still have significant overlap between hairy regions, the experimental modulus was lower than the predicted value, as the effective number of crosslinkers was further reduced along with possible density heterogeneities. The reversible destruction of the network by shear forces can be observed from the strain dependence of the storage and loss moduli. The storage moduli of the Ni2+ and Zn2+ systems at a lower concentration (12 w/v%) showed a rarely observed feature (i.e., a peak at the transition from linear to nonlinear regime). This peak disappeared at a higher concentration (15 w/v%). This behavior can be rationalized based on concentration-dependent network stretchability.
Keywords: rheology / Micellar Assemblies / associative polymer colloids
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