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Polymers 2016, 8(6), 217; doi:10.3390/polym8060217

Volume Phase Transitions of Slide-Ring Gels

Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8561, Japan
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Academic Editors: Francoise M. Winnik and Martin Kröger
Received: 27 March 2016 / Revised: 8 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 3 June 2016
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Abstract

The volume phase transition of slide-ring gels with freely-movable cross-linking junctions was investigated. Ionic chemical gels with fixed cross-linking junctions undergo volume phase transitions when they have higher than the critical degree of ionization. However, the experimentally-observed critical ionization value for slide-ring gels is much higher than theoretical values for chemical gels. This difference indicates that the volume phase transition is significantly suppressed in slide-ring gels. The mesoscale structure at various swollen or shrunken states was also investigated by small angle X-ray scattering. Changes in the scattering patterns with shrinking slide-ring gels suggest microphase separation due to the sliding of cyclic molecules threaded along the axis of the polymer chains, which may suppress the volume phase transition. In addition, slide-ring gels absorbed/desorbed greater than equilibrium volumes in the shrinking/swelling processes and showed slow dynamics; these observations are also related to their sliding properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: slide-ring gel; polyrotaxane; volume phase transition; small-angle X-ray scattering slide-ring gel; polyrotaxane; volume phase transition; small-angle X-ray scattering
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Bando, A.; Kasahara, R.; Kayashima, K.; Okumura, Y.; Kato, K.; Sakai, Y.; Yokoyama, H.; Shinohara, Y.; Amemiya, Y.; Ito, K. Volume Phase Transitions of Slide-Ring Gels. Polymers 2016, 8, 217.

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