Steady state fluorescence technique for studying phase transitions in PAAm-PNIPA mixture
The steady state fluorescence (SSF) technique was used to study the sol-gel phase transition during free radical crosslinking copolymerisation of various amounts of acrylamide (AAm) and N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPA) mixtures. NN'-methylenebis (acrylamide) (BIS) and ammonium persulfate (APS) were used as crosslinker and an initiator respectively. Pyranine (8-hydroxypyrene-1 3 6-trisulfonic acid trisodium salt HPTS) was added as a fluoroprobe for monitoring the polymerisation. It was observed that pyranine molecules bind to AAm and NIPA chains upon the initiation of the polymerisation thus the fluorescence spectra of the bonded pyranines shift to the shorter wavelengths. Fluorescence spectra from the bonded pyranines allowed us to monitor the sol-gel phase transition without disturbing the system mechanically and to test the universality of the sol-gel transition as a function of polymer concentration ratios. Observations around the gel point of PAAm-PNIPA mixtures show that the gel fraction exponent obeyed the percolation result.