Graphene oxide (GO) is added into poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) hydrogels to modify their mechanical and thermal properties. The original PAA hydrogels, which are commonly crosslinked by N,N-methylenebisacrylamide (BIS), generally exhibit pronounced weakness and brittleness. When GO was added into the BIS-gel, the GO–BIS-gels become very tough and exhibited fairly good strength. The mechanical and thermal properties of GO–BIS-gels vary greatly by changing GO or BIS content. As for the swelling behaviors of the hydrogels, they are found to be still sensitive to pH. However, the BIS-gels have a higher equilibrium swelling ratio and swell faster than that of corresponding GO–BIS-gels. In addition, the deswelling ratio decreases with the increase of GO content. The cross-linking of GO with PAA is the main factor for these phenomenon. Thus, the content of GO and BIS can be adjusted for preparing hydrogels with different properties for a wide range of applications.
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