“Single-chain” microgels were synthesized successfully from the cross-linkable poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) copolymer. This type of microgel has the exact chemical structure, molecular weight and molecular weight distribution of its precursor. It provides a direct way to compare the properties of linear polymers with those of their networks. The viscosity properties show that the microgels have lower critical solution temperatures (LCST) that are even higher than those of the corresponding linear copolymers. This can be attributed to the crosslinking points, which retard the change of the conformation of the network chains. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 89: 2179–2183, 2003
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