Experimental studies of the jamming behaviour of triblock copolymer solutions and triblock copolymer-anionic surfactant mixtures
Raman Research Institute, 560080, Bangalore, India
Revised: 14 July 2011
Accepted: 1 August 2011
Published online: 26 September 2011
Photon correlation spectroscopy and rheological measurements are performed to investigate the microscopic dynamics and mechanical responses of aqueous solutions of triblock copolymers and aqueous mixtures of triblock copolymers and anionic surfactants. Increasing the concentration of triblock copolymers results in a sharp increase in the magnitude of the complex moduli characterising the samples. This is understood in terms of the changes in the aggregation and packing behaviours of the copolymers and the constraints imposed upon their dynamics due to increased close packing. The addition of suitable quantities of an anionic surfactant to a strongly elastic copolymer solution results in a decrease in the complex moduli of the samples by several decades. It is argued that the shape anisotropy and size polydispersity of the micelles comprising mixtures cause dramatic changes in the packing behaviour, resulting in sample unjamming and the observed decrease in complex moduli. Finally, a phase diagram is constructed in the temperature-surfactant concentration plane to summarise the jamming-unjamming behaviour of aggregates constituting triblock copolymer-anionic surfactant mixtures.
© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2011