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Different Response Kinetics to Temperature and Water Vapor of Acrylamide Polymers Obtained by Initiated Chemical Vapor Deposition

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Institute of Solid State Physics, Graz University of Technology, Petersgasse 16, 8010 Graz, Austria
Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2018, 10, 7, 6636–6645
Publication Date (Web):January 27, 2018
Copyright © 2018 American Chemical Society

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    Thermoresponsive polymers undergo a reversible phase transition at their lower critical solution temperature (LCST) from a hydrated hydrophilic state at temperatures below the LCST to a collapsed hydrophobic state at higher temperatures. This results in a strong response to temperature when in aqueous environment. This study shows that hydrogel thin films synthesized by initiated chemical vapor deposition show fast and strong response to temperature also in water vapor environment. Thin films of cross-linked poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), p(NIPAAm), were found to have a sharp change in thickness by 200% in water vapor at temperatures above and below the LCST. Additionally, the stimuli-responsive poly(N,N-diethylacrylamide) was investigated and compared to results found for p(NIPAAm). Analysis of the swelling kinetics performed with in situ spectroscopic ellipsometry with variable stage temperature shows differences for swelling and deswelling processes, and a hysteresis in the thickness profile was found as a function of temperature and of temperature change rate.

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    It is worth noting that the monomer fraction here indicates the relative available adsorbed monomer on the surface prior and during the deposition and it is related to, but does not correspond to, the amount of monomer included in the polymeric structure.

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    • Comparison between swelling behavior of NIPAAm and DEAAm-based polymers (PDF)

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