- 10:36 AM

Macromolecular Surfactants: Engineering Value-Added and Commodity Products

Frank Bates, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Block copolymers belong to a broad class of amphiphilic compounds that includes lipids, soaps, and nonionic surfactants. A macromolecular architecture affords certain unique advantages over conventional low molecular weight amphiphiles in constructing nanoscale objects with prescribed morphologies and physical properties. I will describe the formation of structures classically found in mixtures of oil, water and surfactant. The static and dynamic properties of spherical and worm-like micelles, vesicles, and bicontinuous microemulsions have been investigated in a variety of systems using small-angle x-ray and neutron scattering (SAXS and SANS), electron and optical microscopy, and in-situ rheological techniques. This presentation will highlight the similarities and differences between macromolecular and traditional amphiphiles, including several illustrative examples that address practical needs in fields ranging from biomedical engineering to structural plastics.