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Issue 31, 2012
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Capillarity induced instability in responsive hydrogel membranes with periodic hole array

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Abstract

We report capillary force induced instability from drying water swollen poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA) based hydrogel membranes with micron-sized holes in a square array. When the PHEMA membrane was exposed to deionized-water, the size of the holes became smaller but retained the shape, so-called breathing mode instability. However, during the drying process, the square pore array buckled into a diamond plate pattern. The deformed pattern could be recovered upon re-exposure to water. The instability mechanism was confirmed by comparing the observations from optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images with theoretical prediction. When thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) was introduced to the PHEMA gel, the poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate-co-N-isopropylacrylamide) (PHEMA-co-PNIPAAm) membrane underwent pattern transformation only if dried below the lower critical solution temperature of PNIPAAm. Along the pattern transformation, we observed a dramatic change of the optical property of the film, from colourful reflection to transparent window.

Graphical abstract: Capillarity induced instability in responsive hydrogel membranes with periodic hole array

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Feb 2012, accepted on 27 Mar 2012 and first published on 26 Apr 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM25393C
Citation: Soft Matter, 2012,8, 8088-8093

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    Capillarity induced instability in responsive hydrogel membranes with periodic hole array

    X. Zhu, G. Wu, R. Dong, C. Chen and S. Yang, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 8088
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SM25393C

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