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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry