Synthesis and Physical Properties of Environmentally Responsive Polymer Gels

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Polymer gels undergo the volume phase transition in response to an infinitesimal environmental change. This remarkable phenomenon results in many potential applications of polymer gels. This dissertation systematically investigates the chemical and physical properties of polymer gels. It is found that infrared radiation laser not only induces a volume phase transition in N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPA) gel, but also causes the gel to bend toward the laser beam. The transmission of visible laser light through a NIPA gel can also be controlled by adjusting the infrared laser power. A new class of environmentally responsive materials based on spatial modulation of the chemical ... continued below

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xiii, 145 leaves : ill.

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Zhang, Xiaomin May 1996.

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This dissertation is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 61 times . More information about this dissertation can be viewed below.

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  • Zhang, Xiaomin

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Polymer gels undergo the volume phase transition in response to an infinitesimal environmental change. This remarkable phenomenon results in many potential applications of polymer gels. This dissertation systematically investigates the chemical and physical properties of polymer gels. It is found that infrared radiation laser not only induces a volume phase transition in N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPA) gel, but also causes the gel to bend toward the laser beam. The transmission of visible laser light through a NIPA gel can also be controlled by adjusting the infrared laser power. A new class of environmentally responsive materials based on spatial modulation of the chemical nature of gels has been proposed and demonstrated. Three simple applications based on the modulated gels are presented: a bi-gel strip, a shape memory gel, and a gel hand. The bending of bi-gels has been studied as a function of temperature, acetone aqueous solution, and salt solution. As the polymer network concentration increases, the behavior of shear modulus of acrylamide (PAAM) gels deviates significantlyfromthe classical theory. The ionic NIPA gels undergo two sequential volume phase transitions: one occurs in dilute NaCl solution, the other occurs in concentrated NaCl solution. An interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) of PAAM--NIPA has also been synthesized using free radical polymerization. It is found that the IPN gels preserve the essential properties of individual components. The volume phase transition of the IPN gels can be triggered by multiple external stimuli including temperature, acetone concentration, and salt concentration.

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xiii, 145 leaves : ill.

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  • May 1996

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  • March 24, 2014, 8:07 p.m.

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  • July 31, 2015, 9:11 a.m.

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Zhang, Xiaomin. Synthesis and Physical Properties of Environmentally Responsive Polymer Gels, dissertation, May 1996; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277945/: accessed September 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .