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Polymers 2016, 8(4), 109; doi:10.3390/polym8040109

Influence of the Near Molecular Vicinity on the Temperature Regulated Fluorescence Response of Poly(N-vinylcaprolactam)

1
Institute of Chemistry, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, Potsdam-Golm D-14476, Germany
2
Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Polymer Research IAP, Geiselberg-Str. 69, Potsdam-Golm D-14476, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Christopher Barner-Kowollik and Patrick Theato
Received: 18 December 2015 / Revised: 4 February 2016 / Accepted: 17 March 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Aqueous Media)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2519 KB, uploaded 25 March 2016]   |  

Abstract

A series of new fluorescent dye bearing monomers, including glycomonomers, based on maleamide and maleic esteramide was synthesized. The dye monomers were incorporated by radical copolymerization into thermo-responsive poly(N‑vinyl-caprolactam) that displays a lower critical solution temperature (LCST) in aqueous solution. The effects of the local molecular environment on the polymers’ luminescence, in particular on the fluorescence intensity and the extent of solvatochromism, were investigated below as well as above the phase transition. By attaching substituents of varying size and polarity in the close vicinity of the fluorophore, and by varying the spacer groups connecting the dyes to the polymer backbone, we explored the underlying structure–property relationships, in order to establish rules for successful sensor designs, e.g., for molecular thermometers. Most importantly, spacer groups of sufficient length separating the fluorophore from the polymer backbone proved to be crucial for obtaining pronounced temperature regulated fluorescence responses. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermo-responsive polymers; poly(N-vinylcaprolactam); lower critical solution temperature; fluorescent dye monomers; naphthalimide; solvatochromism; polymeric sensors; molecular thermometers thermo-responsive polymers; poly(N-vinylcaprolactam); lower critical solution temperature; fluorescent dye monomers; naphthalimide; solvatochromism; polymeric sensors; molecular thermometers
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Enzenberg, A.; Laschewsky, A.; Boeffel, C.; Wischerhoff, E. Influence of the Near Molecular Vicinity on the Temperature Regulated Fluorescence Response of Poly(N-vinylcaprolactam). Polymers 2016, 8, 109.

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