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Control of the Coil-to-Globule Transition and Ultrahigh Mechanical Properties of PNIPA in Nanocomposite Hydrogels


  • This work was partially supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture, Japan (Grant-in-Aid 16550181). PNIPA=poly(N-isopropylacrylamide).


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Polymer clay for chemists: High strengths and high fracture energies of polymeric hydrogels have been demonstrated by incorporating a substantial amount of nanodispersed inorganic clay during the in situ free-radical polymerization of N-isopropylacrylamide. By varying the amount of clay used, mechanical properties as well as the swelling and transparency of the nanocomposite (NC) could be controlled (see picture; NC20 contains more clay than NC5).