Micellization of a di-block copolymer in ethylene glycol and its utilization for suspension of carbonaceous nanostructures

Neta Cohen, Efrat Ziv, Gleb Vasilyev, Anthony Convertine, Yael Levi-Kalisman, Rachel Yerushalmi-Rozen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Suspensions of carbonaceous nanoparticles (NPs) in ethylene glycol (EG) can be used as colloidal inks for additive manufacturing and nano-fluids for heat-transfer applications. While micellar solutions of surfactants are often used for suspension of the NPs in water, micellization of surfactants in EG is suppressed as compared to aqueous solutions and a well-defined critical micellization concentration (CMC) is often not observed. Unlike the surfactants, a di-block copolymer comprising a poly(ethylene glycol) monomethylether methacrylate (PEGMA) segment, 2-(diethylaminoethyl) methacrylate (DEAEMA) and butyl methacrylate (BMA), poly(O950)-b-(DEAEMA-co-BMA) was found to assemble into spherical micelles in EG. Surface tension measurements show a well-defined CMC that depends on the volume fraction of EG. Cryogenic transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering show the presence of spherical micelles with a diameter that reduces with the volume fraction of EG. The micellar solutions were further used for suspending carbonaceous NPs of different geometry and characteristic dimensions: C60 fullerenes, multi-walled carbon nanotubes, and nanodiamonds. The flow behavior of the suspensions exhibits a relatively low viscosity and mostly Newtonian behavior due to strong interaction between the NPs and the micelles. These suspensions may be used as colloidal inks for two-dimensional and three-dimensional printing.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number46518
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number28
StatePublished - 20 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

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© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • carbon nanotubes
  • ethylene glycol solutions
  • fullerenes
  • nanodiamonds
  • polymeric micelles
  • self-assembly
  • viscosity of suspensions


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