Patterns of phase behavior in polymer and amphiphile mixtures

Klaus R. Wormuth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


A relatively unexplored area of research, the phase behavior of amphiphile and polymer mixtures in water is examined as a function of temperature and composition. The miscibility of ethoxylated alcohol amphiphile [CH3(CH2)i-1O(CH2CH2O)jH] and poly(ethylene oxide) in water decreases strongly upon increasing the strength of the amphiphile (i + j) or increasing the molecular weight of the polymer. As the amphiphile is stretched from the weakly associating C4E1 to the micelle-forming surfactant C8E4, the separate upper and lower miscibility gaps of C4E1/polymer/water collide and merge to form a continuous two-phase region from low to high temperatures. A similar trend is observed upon increasing polymer molecular weight. Some of the phase behavior patterns resemble those found for mixtures of two polymers in a solvent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1622-1626
Number of pages5
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1991


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