Co-assembly Towards Janus Micelles

  • Ilja K. Voets
  • Frans A. Leermakers
  • Arie de Keizer
  • Marat Charlaganov
  • Martien A. Cohen Stuart
Part of the Advances in Polymer Science book series (POLYMER, volume 241)


In this paper, we report on our recent findings concerning the structure of complex coacervate core micelles composed of two types of (complementary) block copolymers. Both copolymers have a polyelectrolyte (one cationic and the other anionic) block combined with a neutral one. The opposite charges attract and form a close-to-electroneutral core. The two neutral blocks form the corona of the micelles. Here, we focus on the structure of the corona, which among other possibilities assumes the Janus configuration. Corresponding self-consistent field calculations confirm the rich behaviour of these systems. Unless the solvent quality of one of the corona chains is poor, we do not expect an onion-like corona with a clear interface between the layers. Disparities in chain length and solvent quality may only lead to gradual differences (local enrichments) in radial distributions. In the case that both corona chains are in good solvent, an unfavourable mixing of the two chains leads to the formation of Janus micelles, where the two blocks occupy different hemispheres. The interface that separates the two regions exerts a force on the core, which will deform when the core surface tension is not too high. In line with experimental results, the core flattens like a disk and the corona chains extend most in the direction of the poles.


Coacervate Co-assembly Janus Micelle Polyelectrolyte Polymer Scattering Segregation Self-assembly Self-consistent field calculations 



We thank Gert Buurman for the creation of Fig. 1. This work is part of the research programme of the Stichting voor Fundamenteel Onderzoek der Materie (FOM), which is financially supported by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO). It has been carried out in the framework of the EU Polyamphi/Marie Curie program (FP6–2002, proposal 505027). I.V. was financed by the SONS Eurocores program (Project JA016-SONS-AMPHI). Holger Schmalz is gratefully acknowledged for the synthesis of the P2MVP-b-PEO polymer, Rhodia (Aubervilliers, France) for providing us with a sample of PAA-b-PAAm, and C. Detrembleur, A. Aqil, and A. Debuigne for the synthesis of the PAA-b-PNIPAAm and PAA-b-PVOH polymers.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilja K. Voets
    • 1
    • 2
  • Frans A. Leermakers
    • 1
  • Arie de Keizer
    • 1
  • Marat Charlaganov
    • 1
    • 3
  • Martien A. Cohen Stuart
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Physical Chemistry and Colloid ScienceWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Adolphe Merkle InstituteUniversity of FribourgMarly 1Switzerland
  3. 3.Soft Matter Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Leiden Institute of ChemistryUniversity of Leiden, Gorlaeus LaboratoriesLeidenNetherlands

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