Turkish Journal of Chemistry




An easy method is proposed to prepare poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) (PVP) and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNiPAAm) nanogels with sizes less than 100 nm. The underlying principle is to prepare dilute polymer solutions in acetone/water mixtures where acetone acts to break tridimensional structure of water hence disrupting the H-bonds bridging polymer coils causing separation and shrinkage in their sizes. Irradiation of these solutions by gamma-rays directly leads to the formation of intramolecular crosslinks within the coils resulting with nanogels with sizes smaller than precursor coils. While the average size of nanogels of PVP irradiated in water only is 236 nm, they were reduced to about 44 nm when irradiation was carried out in acetone/water solutions at near theta compositions. PNiPAAm nanogels were also synthesized by irradiating their dilute acetone/water solutions. Multimodal coil size distribution of PNiPAAm was converted into monomodal distribution with 70 nm average size and low dispersity by the addition of acetone. Irradiation of such solutions yielded PNiPAAm nanogels with 50 nm average size. Stability of nanogels was followed for 1 year not showing any changes in their sizes or size distributions. Nanogels were characterized by dynamic light scattering, scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy techniques.


Poly(vinyl pyrrolidone), poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), nanogel, gamma irradiation, size control, effect of acetone

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