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Solvato-morphologically controlled, reversible NIPAAm hydrogel photoactuators

Dunne, Aishling and Delaney, Colm and Florea, Larisa and Diamond , Dermot (2016) Solvato-morphologically controlled, reversible NIPAAm hydrogel photoactuators. Royal Society Society Advances, 86 (6). pp. 83296-83302. ISSN 2046-2069

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Photo-actuator hydrogels were generated using a N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylated spiropyran-coacrylic acid (p(NIPAAm-co-SP-co-AA)) copolymer, in 100-1-5 mole ratio. Different ratios of deionised water: organic solvent (tetrahydrofuran, dioxane and acetone) were used as the polymerisation solvent. By changing the polymerisation solvent, the pore size and density of the hydrogels were altered, which in turn had an impact on the diffusion path-length of water molecules, thus influencing the swelling and photoinduced shrinking kinetics of the hydrogel. We successfully demonstrated that the polymerisation solvent has a significant effect on the curing time, the elasticity and morphology of the resulting hydrogel. The highest shrinking ratio was obtained for hydrogels produced using 4:1 acetone: deionised water (CI) as the polymerisation solvent, with the hydrogel reaching 39.56% (±2.37% (n=3)) of its hydrated area after 4 min of white light irradiation followed by reswelling in the dark to 61.95% (±5.76% (n=3)) after 11 min. Conversely, the best reswelling capabilities were obtained for the hydrogels produced using 1:1 tetrahydrofuran: deionised water (AIII), when the shrunk hydrogel (61.78±0.26% (n=3)) regained 91.31% (±0.22% (n=3)) of its original size after 11 min in the dark. To our knowledge, this is the largest reported photo-induced area change for self-protonated spiropyran containing hydrogels. The shrinking/reswelling process was completely reversible in DI water with no detectable hysteresis over three repeat irradiation cycles.

Item Type:Article (Published)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Spiropyran; Hydrogels ; Photoactuators
Subjects:Physical Sciences > Organic chemistry
Physical Sciences > Chemistry
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science and Health > School of Chemical Sciences
Research Initiatives and Centres > INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics
Research Initiatives and Centres > National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR)
Publisher:Royal Society of Chemistry
Official URL:
Copyright Information:© 2016 RSC
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
Funders:Science Foundation Ireland, Insigh centre for data analytics
ID Code:21387
Deposited On:10 Oct 2016 15:51 by Aishling Dunne. Last Modified 26 Aug 2017 01:02

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