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Issue 14, 2015
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Comparison of LCST-transitions of homopolymer mixture, diblock and statistical copolymers of NIPAM and VCL in water

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Abstract

The LCST-transitions of linear, well-defined polymers of N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM) and N-vinylcaprolactam (VCL), including a homopolymer mixture, diblock and statistical copolymers, in water are explored and compared by applying turbidity and FTIR measurements in combination with two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy (2Dcos). Only one transition is observed in all polymer systems, suggesting a dependent aggregation of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) and poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) (PVCL) parts in the phase transition processes. With the help of 2Dcos analysis, it is discovered that the hydrophobic interaction among C–H groups is the driving force for simultaneous collapse of the two distinct thermo-responsive segments. Additionally, the delicate differences within the LCST-transitions thereof have been emphasized, where the phase separation temperatures of the homopolymer mixture and the diblock copolymer are close while that of the statistical copolymer is relatively higher. Moreover, both diblock and statistical copolymers exhibit rather sharp phase transitions while the homopolymer mixture demonstrates a moderately continuous one.

Graphical abstract: Comparison of LCST-transitions of homopolymer mixture, diblock and statistical copolymers of NIPAM and VCL in water

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Jan 2015, accepted on 09 Feb 2015 and first published on 10 Feb 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM00026B
Soft Matter, 2015,11, 2771-2781

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    Comparison of LCST-transitions of homopolymer mixture, diblock and statistical copolymers of NIPAM and VCL in water

    L. Hou and P. Wu, Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 2771
    DOI: 10.1039/C5SM00026B

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