Micellization in pH-sensitive amphiphilic block copolymers in aqueous media and the formation of metal nanoparticles

Maria Vamvakaki, Lampros Papoutsakis, Vasilios Katsamanis, Theodora Afchoudia, Panagiota G. Fragouli, Hermis Iatrou, Nikos Hadjichristidis, Steve P. Armes, Stanislav Sidorov, Denis Zhirov, Vasilii Zhirov, Maxim Kostylev, Lyudmila M. Bronstein, Spiros H. Anastasiadis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Dynamic light scattering, potentiometric titration, transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy have been used to investigate the micellar behaviour and metal-nanoparticle formation in poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(2-vinylpyridine), PEO-b-P2VP, poly(hexa(ethylene glycol) methacrylate)-block-poly(2-(diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate), PHEGMA-b-PDEAEMA, and PEO-b-PDEAEMA amphiphilic diblock copolymers in water. The hydrophobic block of these copolymers (P2VP or PDEAEMA) is pH-sensitive: at low pH it can be protonated and becomes partially or completely hydrophilic leading to molecular solubility whereas at higher pH micelles are formed. These micelles consist of a P2VP or PDEAEMA core and a PEO or PHEGMA corona, respectively, where the core forming amine units can incorporate metal compounds due to coordination. The metal compounds (e.g., H2PtCl6, K2PtCl 6) can either be introduced in a micellar solution, where they are incorporated within the micelle core via coordination with functional groups, or can be added to a unimer solution at low pH, where they lead to a metal-induced micellization. In these micellar nanoreactors, metal nanoparticles nucleate and grow upon reduction with sizes in the range of a few nanometers as observed by TEM. The effect of the metal incorporation method on the characteristics of the micelles and of the synthesized nanoparticles is investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-147
Number of pages19
JournalFaraday Discussions
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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