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Issue 6, 2012
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Understanding the thermo-sensitivity of crystalline colloidal arrays formed by poly(styrene-co-N-isopropylacrylamide) core–shell microspheres

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Abstract

Poly(styrene-co-N-isopropylacrylamide) core–shell microspheres have been synthesized by a two-step surfactant-free emulsion polymerization process. These microspheres are thermo-responsive with a clear volume phase transition around 30 °C and form crystalline colloidal arrays over a wide range of concentrations. The resulting crystalline arrays also display a response to temperature, visible through a change in the diffraction spectrum. However, the response appears to be highly dependent on the microsphere concentration. This behavior originates from a change in the short-range interactions between particles rather than from the volume change of the particles caused by the volume phase transition. Attractive van der Waals interactions increase while repulsions decrease; these changes only affect the equilibrium of concentrated samples, where the interparticle distance is sufficiently short to have an effect.

Graphical abstract: Understanding the thermo-sensitivity of crystalline colloidal arrays formed by poly(styrene-co-N-isopropylacrylamide) core–shell microspheres

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Jul 2011, accepted on 12 Nov 2011 and first published on 22 Dec 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM06344H
Citation: Soft Matter, 2012,8, 1909-1915
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    Understanding the thermo-sensitivity of crystalline colloidal arrays formed by poly(styrene-co-N-isopropylacrylamide) core–shell microspheres

    G. Bazin and X. X. Zhu, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 1909
    DOI: 10.1039/C1SM06344H

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