We investigate volume phase transition in gels immersed in mixture solvents, on the basis of a three-component Flory-Rehner theory. When the selectivity of the minority solvent component to the polymer network is strong, the gel tends to shrink with an increasing concentration of the additive, regardless of whether it is good or poor. This behavior originates from the difference of the additive concentration between inside and outside the gel. We also found the gap of the gel volume at the transition point can be controlled by adding the strongly selective solutes. By dissolving a strongly poor additive, for instance, the discontinuous volume phase transition can be extinguished. Furthermore, we observed that another volume phase transition occurs far from the original transition point. These behaviors can be well explained by a simplified theory neglecting the nonlinearity of the additive concentration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry