Physical gelation in the concentrated Pluronic F127/D2O solution has been studied by a combination of small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and Monte Carlo simulation. A 15% F127/D2O solution exhibits a sol-gel transition at low temperature and a gel-sol transition at the higher temperature, as evidenced by SANS and Monte Carlo simulation studies. Our SANS and simulation results also suggest that the sol-gel transition is dominated by the formation of a percolated polymer network, while the gel-sol transition is determined by the loss of bound solvent. Furthermore, different diffusion behaviors of different bound solvents and free solvent are observed. We expect that this approach can be further extended to study phase behaviors of other systems with similar sol-gel phase diagrams.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry