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Evaluation of Mesh Size in Model Polymer Networks Consisting of Tetra-Arm and Linear Poly(ethylene glycol)s

Institute for Solid State Physics, The University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa 277-8581, Japan
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Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 25 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Gel Materials in the 21st Century)
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Abstract

The structure and mechanical properties of model polymer networks consisting of alternating tetra-functional poly(ethylene glycol)s (PEGs) and bis-functional linear PEGs were investigated by dynamic light scattering and rheological measurements. The sizes of the correlation blob ( ξ c ) and the elastic blob ( ξ e l ) were obtained from these measurements and compared to the theoretical mesh size, the geometric blob ( ξ g ), calculated by using the tree-like approximation. By fixing the concentration of tetra-PEGs and tuning the molecular weight of linear-PEGs, we systematically compared these blob sizes in two cases: complete network (Case A) and incomplete network (Case B). The correlation blob, ξ c , obtained by dynamic light scattering (DLS) was found to obey the well-known concentration dependence for polymer solutions in semidilute regime ( ξ c ~ ϕ 3 / 4 ) irrespective of the Cases. On the other hand, the G was strongly dependent on the Cases: For Case A, G was weakly dependent on the molecular weight of linear-PEGs ( G ~ M c 0.69 ) while G for Case B was a strong increasing function of M c   ( G ~ M c 1.2 ). However, both of them are different from the geometric blob (theoretical mesh) of the gel networks. In addition, interesting relationships between G and ξ c , G ~ ξ c , G ~ ξ C 2 , were obtained for Cases A and B, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: mesh; correlation blob; elastic blob; scaling; model network; tetra-PEG gel mesh; correlation blob; elastic blob; scaling; model network; tetra-PEG gel
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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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Tsuji, Y.; Li, X.; Shibayama, M. Evaluation of Mesh Size in Model Polymer Networks Consisting of Tetra-Arm and Linear Poly(ethylene glycol)s. Gels 2018, 4, 50.

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