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Tuning the viscoelastic properties of bis(urea)-based supramolecular polymer solutions by adding cosolutes.

Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids (2012-09-13)
Kelly Roberta Francisco, Cécile A Dreiss, Laurent Bouteiller, Edvaldo Sabadini
ABSTRACT

Polymers formed by the self-assembly of a bis(urea)-based polymer, 2,4-bis(2-ethylhexylureido)toluene (EHUT), in organic solvents such as octane are promising systems with remarkable rheological properties. This is the first self-assembled polymer recently reported as a hydrodynamic drag reducer for hydrocarbons. The rheology of diluted and semidiluted EHUT solutions can be tuned by specific interactions between the chains, modulated by the nature of the solvent and the presence of additives. In this article, rheological, thermal and SANS measurements were performed in order to investigate the competition between EHUT self-assembly and its interaction with specific molecules (benzene, benzyl alcohol, and ethanol) that can interact with EHUT unimers via hydrogen bonds and π-π interactions. No substantial rheological, thermal, or structural effect is observed when benzene is added to the systems. However, ethanol and benzyl alcohol interact with EHUT unimers through hydrogen bonds, drastically decreasing the viscoelasticity of the solutions. In addition, benzyl alcohol can interact with EHUT polymers by π-stacking interactions, playing an important role in tuning the rheological properties of the systems.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Benzyl alcohol, anhydrous, 99.8%
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Benzyl alcohol, Pharmaceutical Secondary Standard; Certified Reference Material
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Benzyl alcohol solution, certified reference material, 2000 μg/mL in methylene chloride