Publication: Segmental Mobility Studies of Poly(N‐isopropyl acrylamide) Interactions with Gold Nanoparticles and Its Use as a Thermally Driven Trapping System

Published online as early access today, a brand new communication has been published in Macromolecular Rapid Communications, by Dr Swift and collaborator Dr Hickey.  This article shows a first examination of the interaction between gold nanoparticles and linear PNIPAM polymer chains and can be read at the MRC website here.

Abstract:

Thermal desolvation of poly(N‐isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) in the presence of a low concentration of gold nanoparticles incorporates the nanoparticles resulting in suspended aggregates. By covalently incorporating <1% acenaphthylene into the polymerization feed this copolymer is enabled to be used as a model to study the segmental mobility of the PNIPAM backbone in response to gold nanoparticles both below and above the desolvation temperature, showing that there is a physical conformational rearrangement of the soluble polymer at ultralow nanoparticle loadings, indicating low affinity interactions with the nanoparticles. Thermal desolvation is capable of extracting >99.9% of the nanoparticles from their solutions and hence demonstrates that poly(N‐isopropylacrylamide) can act as an excellent scrubbing system to remove metallic nanomaterial pollutants from solution.