Journal article

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New aspects in the phase behaviour of poly-N-isopropyl acrylamide: systematic temperature dependent shrinking of PNiPAM assemblies well beyond the LCST

    23.10.2015
Published in:
  • Scientific Reports. - 2015, vol. 5, p. 15520
English We investigate the phase behaviour of aqueous dispersions of poly-N-isopropyl acrylamide (PNiPAM) microgels above their lower critical solution temperature (LCST) and find that beyond a well-defined concentration the systems exhibit a peculiar behaviour: the microgels assemble into space-spanning gels that shrink in time while maintaining the shape of the container in which they have been formed. Over a wide range of concentrations this shrinking behaviour is independent of PNiPAM concentration, but systematically depends on temperature in a temperature range significantly exceeding the LCST. The overall shrinking characteristics are consistent with those expected for scaffolds made of materials that exhibit thermal contraction. However, for the PNiPAM assemblies contraction is irreversible and can be as large as 90%. Such characteristics disclose complex interactions between fully collapsed PNiPAM and water well beyond the LCST, the origin of which has yet to be elucidated.
Faculty
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Department
Département de Physique
Language
  • English
Classification
Physics
License
License undefined
Identifiers
Persistent URL
https://folia.unifr.ch/unifr/documents/304626
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