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Issue 31, 2017
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Origin of nanostructural inhomogeneity in polymer-network gels

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Polymer-network gels often display nano- to microstructural spatial inhomogeneity of their polymer-segmental and crosslinking densities, especially if they are formed by uncontrolled free-radical crosslinking copolymerization of mono- and multifunctional monomers and crosslinkers. This structural complexity markedly affects their optical clarity, mechanical strength, and permeability, which is of central relevance for their performance in everyday-life and high-tech products. This review summarizes and inter-relates a rich amount of existing studies on the origin of this inhomogeneity. It arcs from early fundamental work in the 1990s, development and assessment of highly ideal and super tough model-network gels in the 2000s, up to more recent work on hierarchically structured gels.

Graphical abstract: Origin of nanostructural inhomogeneity in polymer-network gels

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Jun 2017, accepted on 14 Jul 2017 and first published on 14 Jul 2017

Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7PY01035D
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2017,8, 4472-4487

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    Origin of nanostructural inhomogeneity in polymer-network gels

    S. Seiffert, Polym. Chem., 2017, 8, 4472
    DOI: 10.1039/C7PY01035D

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