(78c) Block Copolymer Surfactants
Block copolymers belong to a broad class of amphiphilic compounds that includes lipids, soaps, and nonionic surfactants. A macromolecular architecture affords certain unique advantages over conventional low molecular weight amphiphiles in constructing nanoscale objects with prescribed morphologies and physical properties. I will describe the formation of structures classically found in mixtures of oil, water and surfactant (or lipid or soap). The static and dynamic properties of micelles (spherical and worm-like), vesicles, and bicontinuous microemulsions have been investigated in a variety of systems using small-angle x-ray and neutron scattering, electron and optical microscopy, and in-situ rheological techniques. This presentation will focus on similarities and differences between macromolecular and traditional amphiphiles with reference to several applications.