Description: Poly ethylene glycol (PEG) based microgels were synthesized and investigated. The PEG microgel has the same phase transition as the traditional poly N-isopropylacrylamide (PNIPAM). As a good substitute of PNIPAM, PEG microgel exhibits many advantages: it is easier to control the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the microgel by changing the component of copolymers; it has a more solid spherical core-shell structure to have a double thermo sensitivity; it is straightforward to add other sensitivities such as pH, magnetic field or organic functional groups; it readily forms a photonic crystal structure exhibiting Bragg diffraction; and, most importantly, the PEG microgel is biocompatible with human body and has been approved by FDA while PNIPAM has not. PEG microgels with core-shell structure are synthesized with a two-step free radical polymerization and characterized with DLS, SLS and UV–Vis. The dynamic mechanics of melting and recrystallizing of the PEG core-shell microgel are presented and discussed. Photonic crystals of PEG microgels were synthesized and characterized. The crystal can be isolated in a thin film or a bulk column. The phase transition of PEG microgel was simulated with the mean field theory. The enthalpy and entropy of phase transition can be estimated from the best fit to theoretical calculation with experimental data.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Chi, Chenglin