LANGMUIR, vol.22, no.12, pp.5328-5333, 2006 (SCI-Expanded)
The similarities and differences in the adsorption behavior of diblock poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate)b- poly(2-(diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (XqPDMA-PDEA, where X refers to a mean degree of quaternization of the PDMA of either 0, 10, 50, or 100 mol%) copolymers at the mica/ and silica/aqueous solution interfaces have been investigated. These diblock copolymers form core-shell micelles with the PDEA chains located in the cores and the more hydrophilic PDMA chains forming the cationic micelle coronas at pH 9. These micelles adsorb strongly onto both mica and silica due to electrostatic interactions. In situ atomic force microscopy (AFM) has demonstrated that the mean spacing and the dimension of the adsorbed micelles depend on both the substrate and the mean degree of quaternization of the PDMA blocks. In particular, the morphology of the adsorbed nonquaternized 0qPDMA-PDEA copolymer micelles is clearly influenced by the substrate type: these micelles form a disordered layer on silica, while much more close-packed, highly ordered layers are obtained on mica. The key reasons for this difference are suggested to be the ease of lateral rearrangement for the copolymer micelles attached to the solid substrates and the relative rates of relaxation of the coronal PDMA chains.