Scognamillo, Sergio and Alzari, Valeria and Nuvoli, Daniele and Mariani, Alberto (2010) Thermoresponsive super water absorbent hydrogels prepared by frontal polymerization. Journal of Polymer Science. Part A: Polymer Chemistry, Vol. 48 (11), p. 2486-2490. eISSN 1099-0518. Article.
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Frontal polymerization was used as an alternative technique for the preparation of super water absorbent hydrogels obtained from acrylamide and 3-sulfopropyl acrylate, potassium salt (SPAK) in the presence of N,N′-methylene-bisacrylamide as a crosslinker. All samples were synthesized in dimethyl sulfoxide, and their swelling behavior in water was investigated. It was found that their features are dependent on the monomer ratio used, which influenced the porous morphology, and consequently, the swelling capability. The swelling ratio ranges from about 1000% for the acrylamide homopolymer up to 14,000% for the sample containing 87.5 mol % of SPAK, thus indicating that this parameter can be easily tuned by using the appropriate monomer ratio. The affinity towards water was eventually confirmed by contact angle analysis. Polymer hydrogels made from at least 62.5 mol % SPAK exhibit a thermoresponsive behavior, with a lower critical solution temperature of ~30 °C.
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