Manipulating interfacial polymer structures through mixed surfactant adsorption and complexation

Beatrice Cattoz, Wiebe M. De Vos, Terence Cosgrove*, Martin Crossman, Stuart W. Prescott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of a nonionic alcohol ethoxylate surfactant, C 13E 7, on the interactions between PVP and SDS both in the bulk and at the silica nanoparticle interface are studied by photon correlation spectroscopy, solvent relaxation NMR, SANS, and optical reflectometry. Our results confirmed that, in the absence of SDS, C 13E 7 and PVP are noninteracting, while SDS interacts strongly both with PVP and C 13E 7. Studying interfacial interactions showed that the interfacial interactions of PVP with silica can be manipulated by varying the amounts of SDS and C 13E 7 present. Upon SDS addition, the adsorbed layer thickness of PVP on silica increases due to Coulombic repulsion between micelles in the polymer layer. When C 13E 7 is progressively added to the system, it forms mixed micelles with the complexed SDS, reducing the total charge per micelle and thus reducing the repulsion between micelle and the silica surface that would otherwise cause the PVP to desorb. This causes the amount of adsorbed polymer to increase with C 13E 7 addition for the systems containing SDS, demonstrating that addition of C 13E 7 hinders the SDS-mediated desorption of an adsorbed PVP layer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6282-6290
Number of pages9
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


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