Microgels with Linear Thermosensitivity in a Wide Temperature Range
A newly developed poly(2-methoxyethyl acrylate-co-oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether acrylate) (P(MEA-co-OEGA) microgel, synthesized by free radical precipitation copolymerization, displays a linear volume phase transition in water upon heating in a wide range of temperature. Varying cross-linking density in the microgels does not interrupt the linear thermosensitivity. By changing the feeding molar ratio of MEA and OEGA, the linear thermosensitive temperature range can be adjusted, where higher OEGA content results in higher plateau starting temperature. Furthermore, temperature- and pH-sensitive microgels could be achieved by adding another comonomer, acrylic acid (AA). The resulting P(MEA-co-OEGA-co-AA) microgels are ideal candidates to prepare hybrid microgels by in situ formation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs).