Effect of polymer molecular weight on the polymer/surfactant interaction

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A thermodynamic analysis of the interaction between fourteen different molar mass poly(ethylene oxide)s (PEO) and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) based on the measured surfactant-binding isotherms is given. The surfactant-binding isotherms were determined by the potentiometric method in the presence of 0.1 M inert electrolyte (NaBr). It was found that there is no PEO/SDS complex formation if MPEO < 1000. In the molecular weight range 1000 < MPEO < 8000, the critical aggregation concentration (cac) and the surfactant aggregation number are decreasing as the polymer molecular weight increases. The saturated bound surfactant amount is proportional to the number concentration of the polymer in this molecular weight range. If MPEO exceeds ∼8000, the cac does not depend on the polymer molar mass, and the saturated bound amount of the surfactant becomes proportional to the mass concentration of the polymer. It was also observed that independently of the polymer molecular weight the surfactant aggregation number increases as the equilibrium surfactant monomer concentration increases from the cac to the critical micellar concentration (cmc). Finally, it was demonstrated that only one polymer molecule is involved in the complex formation independently of the polymer molecular weight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13538-13544
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - Jul 21 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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