Solvent-aided phase separation in hydrogel towards significantly enhanced mechanoresponsive strength

Lu, Haibao, Xing, Ziyu, Chen, Mingji, Yu, Kai and Fu, Yong Qing (2021) Solvent-aided phase separation in hydrogel towards significantly enhanced mechanoresponsive strength. Acta Mechanica Sinica, 37 (5). pp. 757-766. ISSN 0567-7718

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Understanding working principles and thermodynamics behind phase separations, which have significant influences on condensed molecular structures and their performances, can inspire to design and fabricate anomalously and desirably mechanoresponsive hydrogels. However, a combination of techniques from physicochemistry and mechanics has yet been established for the phase separation in hydrogels. In this study, a thermodynamic model is firstly formulated to describe solvent-aided phase and microphase separations in the hydrogels, which present significantly improved mechanoresponsive strengths. Flory–Huggins theory and interfacial energy equation have further been applied to model the thermodynamics of concentration-dependent and temperature-dependent phase separations. An intricately detailed phase map has finally been formulated to explore the working principle. The thermodynamic methodology of phase separations, combined with the constitutive stress–strain relationships, has a great potential to explore the working mechanisms in mechanoresponsive hydrogels.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China NSFC (Grant 11725208) and Newton Mobility (Grant IE161019) through Royal Society and NSFC.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microphase separation, Phase separation, Mechanoresponsive, Hydrogel
Subjects: H100 General Engineering
H600 Electronic and Electrical Engineering
H800 Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering
H900 Others in Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2021 10:23
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 03:31

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