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Title: Hydrothermal Conditioning of Physical Hydrogels Prepared from a Midblock-Sulfonated Multiblock Copolymer

Since nanostructured amphiphilic macromolecules capable of affording high ion and water transport are becoming increasingly important in a wide range of contemporary energy and environmental technologies, the swelling kinetics and temperature dependence of water uptake are investigated in a series of midblock-sulfonated thermoplastic elastomers. Upon self-assembly, these materials maintain a stable hydrogel network in the presence of a polar liquid. In this study, real-time water-sorption kinetics in copolymer films prepared by different casting solvents are elucidated by synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering and gravimetric measurements, which directly correlate nanostructural changes with macroscopic swelling to establish fundamental structure-property behavior. By monitoring the equilibrium swelling capacity of these materials over a range of temperatures, an unexpected transition in the vicinity of 50 degrees C has been discovered. Furthermore, depending on copolymer morphology and degree of sulfonation, hydrothermal conditioning of specimens to temperatures above this transition permits retention of superabsorbent swelling at ambient temperature.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Macromolecular Rapid Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 38; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 1022-1336
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
North Carolina State University; USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; block ionomer; hydrothermal conditioning; multiblock copolymer; physical hydrogel; thermoplastic elastomer
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1401508