• amphiphiles;
  • azo chromophore;
  • polyurethanes;
  • rheology;
  • parallel plate geometry;
  • thermo-association


Amphiphilic β-cyclodextrin-based azo aromatic poly(ether urethane)s with different soft segment lengths have been synthesized and characterized. Hydrogen bonding in these systems was demonstrated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis (carbonyl stretching region). A rheological study was performed on solutions of the synthesized poly(ether urethane)s in N,N-dimethylformamide at various concentrations and temperatures by employing parallel plate geometry, and a comparative evaluation of the influence of the structural components on the viscometric responses was performed. The rheological behaviour was found to be strongly dependent on the chemical composition of the synthesized polyurethanes which promotes self-assembly and structuring in solution. Hard segment content and polymer concentration influence pseudoplastic shear-thinning flow behaviour. The rheology can be interpreted in terms of hydrophobic associations and chain entanglements and a hydrogen bonding network occurring in solution. The start-up flow of the polymer solutions is determined by the lifetime of the associative polymer segments. Shear stress plateaux indicative of ‘shear banding’ behaviour explained by the structuring of the polymer solutions at increased temperatures were obtained. The studied amphiphilic polyurethane solutions are thermoresponsive systems exhibiting viscosity increase with increasing temperature contrary to the usual Arrhenius thermo-thinning behaviour. At constant shear rate viscosity was found to increase with increasing temperature due to thermo-association. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry