Photografting (λ > 300 nm) of N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm) and glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) binary monomers (NIPAAm/GMA) on low-density polyethylene film (thickness = 30 μm) was investigated at 60°C using mixed solvent consisting of water and an organic solvent such as acetone. Xanthone was used as a photoinitiator by coating it on the film surfaces. A maximum percentage of grafting was observed at a certain concentration of acetone in the mixed solvent, which was commonly observed for both ratios of NIPAAm/GMA, 8/2 and 7/3. Based on the photografting of NIPAAm/GMA on xanthone-coated film, monomer reactivity ratios of NIPAAm (r1) and GMA (r2) were calculated using the Fineman–Ross method. The values were 0.31 ± 0.1 and 4.8 ± 0.2 for the water solvent system, while they were 0.96 ± 0.1 and 4.9 ± 0.1 for the mixed solvent system. NIPAAm/GMA-grafted films with a homogeneous distribution of grafted chains were formed by photografting using water and mixed solvents. The NIPAAm/GMA-grafted films exhibited temperature-responsive characters, whereas the grafted films showed a reversible change in the degree of swelling between 0 and 50°C, respectively. Epoxy groups in the grafted poly(NIPAAm/GMA) chains could be aminated with ethylenediamine in N,N′-dimethylformamide at 70°C for 3 h. Complexes of the aminated NIPAAm/GMA-grafted chains with cupric ion exhibited catalytic activity for the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide at 20 to 50°C. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 97: 2469–2475, 2005
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