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Thermoresponsive Lamellar Hydrogels with Tunable Turbidity, Structural Color, and Anisotropic Swelling

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posted on 2023-11-29, 21:03 authored by Yang Han, Yunzhou Guo, Tasuku Nakajima, Jian Ping Gong
We report a thermoresponsive anisotropic photonic hydrogel: poly(dodecyl glyceryl itaconate)/polyacrylamide-poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) hydrogel (PDGI/PAAm-PNIPAM hydrogel). Hydrogels with uniaxially aligned lamellar bilayers possess bright structural color and swelling anisotropy, while PNIPAM-based hydrogels exhibit distinct thermoresponsive properties around a lower critical solution temperature (LCST). Hybridization of thermoresponsive PNIPAM with the lamellar hydrogel can give the anisotropic photonic hydrogel various fascinating thermoresponsive properties, such as structural color/turbid transition, thermoresponsive structural color, and anisotropic deswelling/reswelling behavior by temperature stimuli. The temperature-induced changes in turbidity, structural color, and anisotropic swelling of the gel around the LCST can be tuned by controlling the incorporated PNIPAM density. PNIPAM can be regioselectively incorporated into the specific region of the lamellar hydrogels by photomasking during UV polymerization. The PDGI/PAAm-PNIPAM hydrogel can find diverse promising applications such as smart windows and smart displays.

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