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Keywords:

  • networks;
  • polymeric materials;
  • poly(vinylmethyl siloxane);
  • stimuli-responsive materials

Abstract

Here, the formation of responsive polymeric materials with tunable response time is reported. These structures are fabricated by chemically modifying poly(vinylmethyl siloxane) (PVMS) networks with alkanethiols bearing a hydrophilic end-group ([BOND]COOH or [BOND]OH). The response time is facilitated by the liquid nature of the PVMS backbone and increases with increase in length of the methylene spacer ([BOND]CH2)n[BOND] in the alkanethiol pendent group. While for n = 2 and 6, the surface reconstructs almost instantaneously, specimens with n = 11 resist reconstruction because of strong van der Waals forces, leading to the formation of semi-crystalline regions. It is demonstrated that the responsive nature of PVMS[BOND]S[BOND](CH2)11OH can be fine-tuned by varying the temperature; it possesses a faster response at temperatures above the melting point of the [BOND]S[BOND](CH2)11OH moiety.