Extraordinary swelling behavior of poly(AMPS) organogel in solvent/DMSO binary mixed media



The present article deals with super-swelling behavior of crosslinked homopolymer of 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid, poly(AMPS), in binary mixtures of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and various polar solvents including water, mono-, and polyhydric alcohols, and amide solvents such as N-methyl pyrrolidone. Extraordinary phase transition sequences including a new unusual swelling phenomenon, referred to as “overentrant” swelling, was observed for this polymeric organogel in the solvent/DMSO mixtures. The swelling behaviors were preliminarily explained based on the major interactions involved in the solvation process and dielectric constant of the swelling media. It was established that the “overentrant” region of the swelling profiles was progressed with the increase of dielectric constant of the mixed solvent media. The overentrant region was disappeared with partial replacement of AMPS units with acrylic acid. This was taken as an additional practical evidence for a major role of the sulfonic acid as the main interactive group involved in the solvation process. The unusual phase transitions were also explained via a semiquantitative approach based on the Gutmann's acceptor number and donor number values to emphasis on the key effect of dissociation degree of the sulfonic acid group (as a function of the solvent type and composition) on the swelling behaviors. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010