Plenary 3: Radiation chemistry

Monday November 07, 2022 from 13:30 to 15:00

Room: Lunar & Moon

P3.4 The role of diffusion in synthesis and physicochemical properties of polymer hydrogels: Simulations and experiments

Slawomir Kadlubowski, Poland

university professor
Division of Applied Radiation Chemistry, Institute of Applied Radiation Chemistry
Lodz University of Technology, Institute of Applied Radiation Chemistry


The role of diffusion in synthesis and physico-chemical properties of polymer hydrogels – simulations and experiments

Slawomir Kadlubowski1, Piotr Sawicki1, Sebastian Sowinski1, Krzysztof Halagan2, Marcin Kozanecki2, Piotr Ulanski1.

1Institute of Applied Radiation Chemistry, Lodz University of Technology, Lodz, Poland; 2Department of Molecular Physics, Lodz University of Technology, Lodz, Poland

The radiation-induced polymerization and cross-linking is one of the most effective methods used to synthesize polymer hydrogels. In spite of its popularity, the kinetics of this complex process is still insufficiently known, because of the problems with separation of elemental kinetic factors on the experimental way. Additionally, the richness of competitive reactions and excluded volume phenomenon in this kind of complex systems significantly hinders the experimental studies. In this work we have studied some of the important processes involved in polymer formation and modification, in order to deepen our understanding of the dynamics and mechanism of these reactions. Our approach is novel and innovative for at least two reasons. First of all, we employed in parallel experimental work and computer simulations. Secondly, both the selected simulation and experimental approach are based on original concepts that have been so far rarely used to explain general phenomena in polymer physics and chemistry. Computer simulations, based on the novel Dynamic Lattice Liquid approach, can not only reduce the cost and duration of testing some hypotheses but allow us to go beyond of what is possible to measure experimentally - we can isolate single processes, we can test them in precisely controlled conditions, we can also eliminate unwanted side factors and experimental errors, as well as technical limitations. However, as with any new tool, our approach must be careful. That is why we first tested if our simulation approach and model reproduce well these situations that can be studied experimentally (radical formation, polymerization, cross-linking in different concentration regimes etc.)

The work has been partially financed by the National Science Centre Poland, 2017/25/B/ST4/01110

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