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Multiple-Responsive and Amphibious Hydrogel Actuator Based on Asymmetric UCST-Type Volume Phase Transition
作者:Luqin Hua, Manqing Xie, Yukun Jian, Baoyi Wu, Chongyi Chen, and Chuanzhuang Zhao
关键字:hydrogel actuator, interpenetrating network, UCST polymer, hydrogen bond, volume phase transition, Hofmeister effect, patterned hydrogel
论文来源:期刊
具体来源:ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
发表时间:2019年
Thermoresponsive hydrogel actuators have attracted tremendous interest due to their promising applications in artificial muscles, soft robotics, and flexible electronics. However, most of these materials are based on polymers with lower critical solution temperature (LCST), while those from upper critical solution temperature (UCST) are rare. Herein, we report a multiple-responsive UCST hydrogel actuator based on the complex of poly(acrylic acid) (PAAc) and poly(acrylamide) (PAAm). By applying a heterogeneous photopolymerization, a bilayer hydrogel was obtained, including a layer of the interpenetrating network (IPN) of PAAm/PAAc and a layer of a single network of PAAm. When cooled down below the UCST, the PAAm/PAAc layer contracted due to the hydrogen bonding of the two polymers while the PAAm layer stays in swelling state, driving the hydrogel to curl. By adjusting the composition of the two layers, the amplitude of actuation behavior could be regulated. By creating patterned IPN domains with photomasks, the hydrogel could deform into complex two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) shapes. An active motion was realized in both water and oil bath, thanks to the internal water exchange between the two layers. Interestingly, the hydrogel actuator is also responsive to urea and salts (Na2SO4, NaCl, NaSCN), due to that the strength of the hydrogen bonds in the IPN changes with the additives. Overall, the current study realized an anisotropic UCST transition by introducing asymmetrically distributed polymer–polymer hydrogen bonds, which would inspire new inventions of intelligent materials.