Thermal response of low molecular weight poly-(N-isopropylacrylamide) polymers in aqueous solution

  • Ramón Pamies /
  • Kaizheng Zhu /
  • Anna Lena Kjøniksen /
  • Bo Nyström
Journal ar
Polymer Bulletin
  • Volumen: 62
  • Número: 4
  • Fecha: 01 April 2009
  • Páginas: 487-502
  • ISSN: 01700839
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1007/s00289-008-0029-4
  • Document Type: Article
Temperature-induced phase transition of three low-molecular-weight samples (M w < 1.2 × 104) of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) was studied with the aid of turbidimetry, dynamic light scattering, and rheology. We have demonstrated that the lower critical solution temperature depends on the length of the chain and the concentration of the polymer in the low molecular weight range. The turbidity results show a transition peak in the turbidity curve at intermediate temperatures. This peak, as well as the cloud point, is shifted toward lower temperatures when the molecular weight and the concentration of the polymer increase. The DLS measurements disclose a fast and a slow relaxation mode, which in both cases are found to be diffusive. The fast mode is linked to the diffusion of small species in the solution, and the slow mode is associated with the formation of large aggregates. The formation of these aggregates is less pronounced in solutions of polymers with low molecular weight and the incipient aggregation is shifted to higher temperatures. The shear viscosity measurements show the formation of weak aggregates, which are easily broken in solutions of short polymers. This effect is less pronounced when the molecular weight of the sample is increased. At certain shear rates, temperature-induced transition peaks of the viscosity are observed. © 2008 Springer-Verlag.

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