Hydrophobic hydration of PNiPAM : a matter of the mean energetics of water
Co-nonsolvency of PNiPAM at the transition between solvation mechanisms
with Davide Calzolari and Veronique Trappe (University of Fribourg)
with Veronique Trappe, Davide Calzolari (University of Fribourg), Paolo de los Rios (EPL Lausanne) and Ilian Jelezarov (University of Zurich)
hydrophobic hydration is the predominant contribution governing the phase behavior of PNiPAM in the water-rich regime, the mixing contributions governing the phase behavior of classical polymer solutions determine the phase behavior of PNiPAM in the alcohol-rich regime. This is evidenced by distinct scaling relations denoting the energetic state of the aqueous medium as a key parameter for the phase behavior of PNiPAM in the water-rich regime, while the volume fractions of respectively water, alcohol and PNiPAM become relevant parameters in the alcohol-rich regime. Adding alcohol to water decreases the energetics of the aqueous medium, which gradually suppresses hydrophobic hydration, while adding water to alcohol decreases the solvent quality. Consequently, PNiPAM is insoluble in the intermediate range of solvent composition, where neither hydrophobic hydration nor the mixing contributions prevail. This accounts for the co-nonsolvency phenomenon observed for PNiPAM in water–alcohol mixtures.
The enthalpically favored hydration of hydrophobic entities, termed hydrophobic hydration, impacts the phase behaviour of numerous amphiphiles in water. Here, we show experimental evidence that hydrophobic hydration is strongly determined by the mean energetics of the aqueous medium. We investigate the aggregation and collapse of an amphiphilic polymer, poly-N-isopropyl acrylamide (PNiPAM), in aqueous solutions containing small amounts of alcohol and find that the thermodynamic characteristics defining the phase transitions of PNiPAM evolve relative to the solvent composition at which the excess mixing enthalpy of the water/alcohol mixtures becomes minimal. Such correlation between solvent energetics and solution thermodynamics extends to other mixtures containing neutral organic solutes that are considered as kosmotropes to induce a strengthening of the hydrogen bonded water network. This denotes the energetics of water as a key parameter controlling the phase behaviour of PNiPAM and identifies the excess mixing enthalpy of water/kosmotrope mixtures as a gauge of the kosmotropic effect on hydrophobic assemblies.
We investigate the co-nonsolvency of poly-N-isopropyl acrylamide (PNiPAM) in different water–alcohol mixtures and show that this phenomenon is due to two distinct solvation contributions governing the phase behavior of PNiPAM in the water-rich and alcohol-rich regime respectively. While
I. Bischofberger, D. C. E. Calzolari, P. De Los Rios, I. Jelezarov, V. Trappe, Sci. Rep. 4, 4377 (2014)
I. Bischofberger, D. C. E. Calzolari, V. Trappe, Soft Matter, 10, 8288-8295 (2014)