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Scaling Relationship of Complex Coacervate Core Micelles: Role of Core Block Stretching



Tae-Young Heo, Debra Audus, Soo-Hyung Choi


The scaling relationship of complex coacervate core micelles (C3Ms) is investigated experimentally and theoretically. The C3Ms are formed by mixing two oppositely charged block copolyelectrolyte solutions (i.e., AB + AC system) and are characterized by small-angle neutron (SANS) and X-ray scattering (SAXS). Scaling relationships for micellar structure parameters, including core radius, total radius, corona thickness, and aggregation number, all with respect to the core block length, are determined. Scaling theory is also proposed by minimizing the free energies per chain leading to four regimes depending on the core and corona chain conformations. Although the corona block is significantly longer than the core block, the structure of our C3Ms is consistent with the crew-cut I regime. A highly swollen core by water enables the core blocks to be stretched significantly and corona chains to be minimally overlapped.
ACS Macro Letters


Heo, T. , Audus, D. and Choi, S. (2023), Scaling Relationship of Complex Coacervate Core Micelles: Role of Core Block Stretching, ACS Macro Letters, [online],, (Accessed July 21, 2024)


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Created October 2, 2023, Updated October 4, 2023