pH-responsive behavior of selectively quaternized diblock copolymers adsorbed at the silica/aqueous solution interface

Kenichi Sakai, Emelyn G. Smith, Grant B. Webber, Murray Baker, Erica J. Wanless, Vural Bütün, Steven P. Armes, Simon Biggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The desorption and subsequent pH-responsive behavior of selectively quaternized poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate)-block-poly(2-(diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDMA-PDEA) films at the silica/aqueous solution interface has been characterized. The copolymer films were prepared at pH 9, where micelle-like surface aggregates are spontaneously formed on silica. The subsequent rinse with a copolymer-free electrolyte solution adjusted to pH 9 causes partial desorption of the weakly or non-quaternized copolymers, but negligible desorption for the highly quaternized copolymers. Further rinsing with a pH 4 electrolyte solution results in additional desorption and extension (swelling) of the remaining adsorbed copolymer film normal to the interface. This pH-responsive behavior is reversible for two pH cycles (9-4-9-4) as monitored by both quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) and also ζ potential measurements. The magnitude of the pH-responsive behavior depends on the mean degree of quaternization of the PDMA block. Moreover, a combination of contact angle data, ζ potential measurements and in situ atomic force microscopy (AFM) studies indicates that the pH-responsive behavior is influenced not only by the number of cationic binding sites on the adsorbed copolymer chains but also by the adsorbed layer structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-388
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Volume314
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

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