Telechelic poly(ethylene glycol)-POSS amphiphiles at the air/water interface

Woojin Lee, Suolong Ni, Jianjun Deng, Byoung Suhk Kim, Sushil K. Satija, Patrick T. Mather, Alan R. Esker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Combining two non-surface-active building blocks, oligomeric poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and a completely hydrophobic polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) cage, creates amphiphilic telechelic polymers (POSS-PEG-POSS), which exhibit surface activity at the air/water (A/W) interface. POSS moieties serve as the hydrophobic groups for hydrophilic PEG chains of different number-average molar mass (1, 2, 3.4, 8, and 10 kg mol-1)- For short PEG chains (1, 2, and 3.4 kg mol-1), insoluble monolayers form, whereas POSS end groups were not sufficiently hydrophobic to keep higher molar mass hydrophilic PEG blocks (8 and 10 kg mol-1) at the A/W interface. Thermodynamic analyses of the 1, 2, and 3.4 kg mol-1 POSS-PEG-POSS via surface pressure-area per monomer isotherms indicate that the POSS end groups reside at the A/W interface and that the PEG chains are squeezed into the subphase with increasing surface pressure. This conclusion is supported by X-ray reflectivity studies on Y-type Langmuir-Blodgett multilayer films which reveal a double-layer structure with a double-layer spacing of about 3.52 nm. These findings provide a strategy for producing new surface active species from non-surface-active precursors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-688
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 6 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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