Equivalent temperature and specific ion effects in macromolecule-coated colloid interactions

Gregory E. Fernandes, Michael A. Bevan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Ensemble total internal refection microscopy is used to measure reversible temperature- and specific-ion-mediated interaction potentials between macromolecule-coated colloids and surfaces. Potentials are measured between PEO-PPO-PEO (poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(propylene oxide)-poly(ethylene oxide)) block copolymers adsorbed to hydrophobically modified silica colloids and glass or gold planar surfaces. Conditions investigated include temperatures from 20 to 47°C and MgSO4 concentrations from 0.2 to 0.5 M. The solvent-quality-mediated copolymer layer collapse inferred by comparing measured potentials and the predicted van der Waals attraction, including effects of the adsorbed copolymer and surface roughness, displays good agreement with expected limits based on the PEO block contour length and the bulk PEO density. Superposition of all PEO layer collapse measurements onto a single universal curve, via a transformed temperature scale relative to a reference temperature in each case, indicates an equivalence of increasing temperature and increasing MgSO4 concentration when layer interactions and dimensions are mediated. Accurate knowledge of nanometer- and kT-scale interactions of copolymer-coated colloids as a function of temperature and MgSO4 concentration provides the ability to reversibly control the stability, phase behavior, and self-assembly of such particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1500-1506
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 30 2007


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