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Issue 23, 2016
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Tailoring of the porous structure of soft emulsion-templated polymer materials

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Abstract

This paper discusses the formation of soft porous materials obtained by the polymerization of inverse water-in-silicone (polydimethylsiloxane, PDMS) emulsions. We show that the initial state of the emulsion has a strong impact on the porous structure and properties of the final material. We show that using a surfactant with different solubilities in the emulsion continuous phase (PDMS), it is possible to tune the interaction between emulsion droplets, which leads to materials with either interconnected or isolated pores. These two systems present completely different behavior upon drying, which results in macroporous air-filled materials in the interconnected case and in a collapsed material with low porosity in the second case. Finally, we compare the mechanical and acoustical properties of these two types of bulk polymer monoliths. We also describe the formation of micrometric polymer particles (beads) in these two cases. We show that materials with an interconnected macroporous structure have low mechanical moduli and low sound speed, and are suitable for acoustic applications. The mechanical and acoustical properties of the materials with a collapsed porous structure are similar to those of non-porous silicone, which makes them acoustically inactive.

Graphical abstract: Tailoring of the porous structure of soft emulsion-templated polymer materials

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
22 Feb 2016
Accepted
04 May 2016
First published
04 May 2016

Soft Matter, 2016,12, 5154-5163
Article type
Paper

Tailoring of the porous structure of soft emulsion-templated polymer materials

A. Kovalenko, K. Zimny, B. Mascaro, T. Brunet and O. Mondain-Monval, Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 5154
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM00461J

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