A poly(4-acrylamidosalicylic acid) gel exhibits multiple phases as characterized by distinct degrees of swelling; the gel can take one of four different swelling values, but none of the intermediate values. The multiple phase behavior appears as a result of the combination of hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interaction between polymer segments. The gel has remarkable memory: The phase behavior of the gel depends on whether the gel has experienced the most swollen phase or the most collapsed phase in the immediate past. The information is stored and reversibly erased in the form of a macroscopic phase transition behavior. These phenomena are explained by a mean field theory where the number of hydrogen bonds is added to the equation of the state of a gel.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry