1 Funktionelle Biomaterialer, Department of Science and Environment, Roskilde University2 The Department of Science, Systems and Models, Roskilde University
Triblock copolymers of the type EPE, where E and P denote ethylene oxide and propylene oxide blocks, respectively, are used widely in industry as emulsifiers, anti-foaming agents, and in delayed drug release. EPE copolymers form micelles with a core of P blocks and different micellar shapes depending on block length ratios and temperature. The micellization process with increasing temperature or concentration has been followed by a number of techniques including differential scanning calorimetry and surface tension measurements. The detailed micellar mechanism is not well understood and different models have been proposed. Results obtained by a range of liquid chromatographic methods will be shown and it will be demonstrated that commercial EPE copolymers are inhomogeneous at several levels and many of their unusual properties reflect the presence of impurities.