Small angle neutron scattering study to determine the structure of high strength hydrogels


Taiki Tominaga

Division of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, Hokkaido University

Polymers Division, NIST


Hydrogels are swollen polymer networks containing more than 90% water. Most hydrogels, however, are mechanically too weak to be used as load bearing devices.† Gong et al. have overcome this problem by synthesizing hydrogels with a double network (DN) structure. Modifying the polyelectrolyte network structure by polymerization of high molecular weight uncharged polymer in situ, resulted in orders of magnitude increase in their load bearing ability. Despite 90% water, these tough gels exhibit a fracture stress of 170 kg/cm^2, similar to that of articular cartilage found in the bone-joints of human body. In this work, we determined the structure of DN-gels using small angle neutron scattering. Structural origins for high toughness found in DN-gels were then examined by comparing the structure of DN-gels with that of pure polyelectrolyte network and polyacrylamide solution.



Your name: Taiki Tominaga

Mentorís name: Wen-li Wu

Division: Polymers (854)
Laboratory: Materials Science and Engineering

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Category: Materials