Characterization of responsive hydrogels and their enhancement with novel moieties have improved our understanding of functional materials. Hydrogels coupled with inorganic nanoparticles have been sought for novel types of responsive materials, but the efficient routes for the formation and the responsivity of complexed materials remain for further investigation. Here, we report that responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid) (pNIPAm-co-AAc) hydrogel microparticles (microgels) are tunable by varying composition of co-monomer and crosslinker as well as by their complexation with magnetic nanoparticles in aqueous dispersions. Our results show that the hydrodynamic diameter and thermoresponsivity of microgels are closely related with the composition of anionic co-monomer, AAc and crosslinker, N,N0-Methylenebisacrylamide (BIS). As a composition of hydrogels, the higher AAc increases the swelling size of the microgels and the volume phase transition temperature (VPTT), but the higher BIS decreases the size with no apparent effect on the VPTT. When the anionic microgels are complexed with amine-modified magnetic nanoparticles (aMNP) via electrostatic interaction, the microgels decrease in diameter at 25 °C and shift the volume phase transition temperature (VPTT) to a higher temperature. Hysteresis on the thermoresponsive behavior of microgels is also measured to validate the utility of aMNP-microgel complexation. These results suggest a simple, yet valuable route for development of advanced responsive microgels, which hints at the formation of soft nanomaterials enhanced by inorganic nanoparticles.
- Electrostatic complexation
- Magnetic nanoparticle
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Computer Science Applications
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes