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Environment-sensitive carbon nanotube/polymer composite microhydrogels synthesized via a microfluidic reactor

Authors

  • Chengyi Hou,

    1. State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, People's Republic of China
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  • Leipeng Ji,

    1. State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, People's Republic of China
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  • Qinghong Zhang,

    1. State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, People's Republic of China
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  • Yaogang Li,

    Corresponding author
    1. College of Materials Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, People's Republic of China
    • College of Materials Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, People's Republic of China
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  • Hongzhi Wang

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, People's Republic of China
    • State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, People's Republic of China
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Abstract

Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)/poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid) composite microhydrogels are simply synthesized with controllable size distribution via a microfluidic reactor system. Monomers (N-isopropylacrylamide and acrylic acid) are rapidly copolymerized (about 3 s) with the embedding of nanoscaled inorganic materials (MWCNTs and hectorites) in microfluidic channels. MWCNTs/hectorites act as “molecular heater” and inorganic crosslinkers in this hydrogel system. As a result, microminiaturization, multifunctionalizaion, and modification of traditional polymer hydrogels are realized simultaneously. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy is used to confirm polymerization and environment-sensitive tests are done as well. The resultant microgels exhibit dual near-infrared and pH response with good reversibility, indicating their potential applications in microreactor fields. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013

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