Thermoresponsive polymers undergo a reversible phase transition at their lower critical solution temperature (LCST) from a hydrated hydrophilic state at temperatures below the LCST to a collapsed hydrophobic state at higher temperatures. This results in a strong response to temperature when in aqueous environment. This study shows that hydrogel thin films synthesized by initiated chemical vapor deposition show fast and strong response to temperature also in water vapor environment. Thin films of cross-linked poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), p(NIPAAm), were found to have a sharp change in thickness by 200% in water vapor at temperatures above and below the LCST. Additionally, the stimuli-responsive poly(N,N-diethylacrylamide) was investigated and compared to results found for p(NIPAAm). Analysis of the swelling kinetics performed with in situ spectroscopic ellipsometry with variable stage temperature shows differences for swelling and deswelling processes, and a hysteresis in the thickness profile was found as a function of temperature and of temperature change rate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Werkstoffwissenschaften (insg.)
Fields of Expertise
- Advanced Materials Science