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Polymers 2017, 9(7), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9070256

Theoretical Analysis of Critical Flowable Physical Gel Cross-Linked by Metal Ions and Polyacrylamide-Derivative Associating Polymers Containing Imidazole Groups

1
Department of Polymer Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Katsura, Kyoto 615-8510, Japan
2
Laboratoire Sciences et Ingénierie de la Matière Molle, PSL Research University, UPMC Univ Paris 06, ESPCI Paris, CNRS, 10 rue Vauquelin, 75231 Paris CEDEX 05, France
3
Global Station for Soft Matter, Global Institution for Collaborative Research and Education, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 001-0021, Japan
4
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Center for Molecular Study of Condensed Soft Matter, Illinois Institute of Technology, 3440 S. Dearborn Street, Suite 150, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 May 2017 / Revised: 18 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complex Fluid Rheology)
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Abstract

When the polymer chains are cross-linked by physical bonds having a finite lifetime, the relaxation time and viscosity do not diverge at the gel point though percolation occurs. These undivergent quantities are related to the finite-sized “largest relaxed cluster,” which can relax before it breaks. Its size is the key rheological parameter characterizing of the critical physical gels. In order to evaluate this characteristic size, we propose here a generalized phenomenological model for the viscoelasticity of critical physical gels. We apply the theory to the previously reported experimental result for the physical gel consisting of polyacrylamide-derivative associating polymers containing imidazole groups cross-linked by coordination bonds with Ni ions. We successfully estimate the size of the largest relaxed cluster and the fractal dimension. The size is in good agreement with that estimated from the mean-square displacement of probe particles at the gel point by microrheological measurement. We also compare this system with the poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogel cross-linked by borate ions, and show that the difference in the cluster structures is originating from the differences of precursor chain properties such as overlap concentration and radius of gyration and of the cross-linking states in these systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: associating polymer solution; physical gelation; critical gel; hydrogel; linear rheology; microrheology associating polymer solution; physical gelation; critical gel; hydrogel; linear rheology; microrheology
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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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Ozaki, H.; Narita, T.; Koga, T.; Indei, T. Theoretical Analysis of Critical Flowable Physical Gel Cross-Linked by Metal Ions and Polyacrylamide-Derivative Associating Polymers Containing Imidazole Groups. Polymers 2017, 9, 256.

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