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Title: Solubility and size of polymer nanoparticles
Authors: Cowen, T
Karim, K
Piletsky, SA
First Published: 28-Sep-2018
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
Citation: POLYMER CHEMISTRY, 2018, 9 (36), pp. 4566-4573 (8)
Abstract: The solubility of polymer nanoparticles is a complex phenomenon dependent on solvent–solute and solute–solute interactions. Contrary to phase separation in standard polymerization reactions, which is a well established research area, the relationship between the solubility of polymer nanoparticles and the resulting diameter of the nanoparticles has been largely overlooked. Herein we demonstrate that the absolute size of polymer nanoparticles can be predicted (and controlled) by varying the relevant parameters of the polymerization conditions that influence the solubility and Flory parameter, χs, p. The position of the spinodal, associated with a given χs, p equivalent and determined with a simple thermodynamic model, allows an absolute value, Δχspinodal, to be applied in predicting polymer dimensions. The hydrodynamic diameter of particles at the primarily observed fraction was found to be dependent on D (nm) = −74Δχspinodal + 367 nm, where Δχspinodal must be positive for successful separation. Variation with total polymer fraction over a limited range can also be observed to follow a trend of approximately D (nm) = 173 ln[(xN)2 10−36/Δχspinodal] − 193 nm, thus giving a more general description of polymerization. We also assert the importance of separating spinodal-character phase separation from binodal-character phase separation in polymer nanoparticle synthesis. To the best of our knowledge this is the first successful Flory–Huggins based thermodynamic model of polymer nanoparticles, and should provide a useful guide to predictive design of future nanomaterials
DOI Link: 10.1039/c8py00829a
ISSN: 1759-9954
eISSN: 1759-9962
Embargo on file until: 15-Aug-2019
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2018, The Royal Society of Chemistry. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 12 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Chemistry

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