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Near-Infrared Light-Responsive Poly(N‑isopropylacrylamide)/Graphene Oxide Nanocomposite Hydrogels with Ultrahigh Tensibility

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posted on 16.12.2015, 00:00 by Kun Shi, Zhuang Liu, Yun-Yan Wei, Wei Wang, Xiao-Jie Ju, Rui Xie, Liang-Yin Chu
Novel near-infrared (NIR) light-responsive poly­(N-isopropylacrylamide)/graphene oxide (PNIPAM-GO) nanocomposite hydrogels with ultrahigh tensibility are prepared by incorporating sparse chemical cross-linking of small molecules with physical cross-linking of graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets. Combination of the GO nanosheets and thermoresponsive poly­(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) polymeric networks provides the hydrogels with an excellent NIR light-responsive property. The ultrahigh tensibility of PNIPAM-GO nanocomposite hydrogels is achieved by simply using a very low concentration of N,N′-methylenebis­(acrylamide) (BIS) molecules as chemical cross-linkers to generate a relatively homogeneous structure with flexible long polymer chains and rare chemically cross-linked dense clusters. Moreover, the oxidized groups of GO nanosheets enable the formation of a hydrogen bond interaction with the amide groups of PNIPAM chains, which could physically cross-link the PNIPAM chains to increase the toughness of the hydrogel networks. The prepared PNIPAM-GO nanocomposite hydrogels with ultrahigh tensibility exhibit rapid, reversible, and repeatable NIR light-responsive properties, which are highly promising for fabricating remote light-controlled devices, smart actuators, artificial muscles, and so on.

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