Thermoresponsive behavior of poly[trialkyl-(4-vinylbenzyl)ammonium] based polyelectrolytes in aqueous salt solutions.

Erno Karjalainen (Corresponding Author), Narmin Suvarli, Heikki Tenhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This contribution reports 16 new thermoresponsive systems based on poly[trialkyl-(4-vinylbenzyl)ammonium] chlorides. When salts are introduced into solution of the water-soluble polymers, thermoresponsive behavior is observed. The type of transition is dependent on the length of the alkyl chain: The polymer with an ethyl chain has an upper critical solution temperature (UCST) whereas the polymers with butyl or pentyl chains have a lower critical solution temperature (LCST). The magnitude of the effect of a given salt on the solution behavior is dependent on the type of the used electrolyte. With all polymers, the strength of the effect increases in the following order: NaH2PO4 < Na2CO3 < Na2SO4 < NaCl < sodium pentanesulfonate < NaNO3 < NaSCN < lithium trifluoromethanesulfonate < lithium bis(trifluoromethane) sulfonimide. For monovalent salts, the order follows a reversed Hofmeister series. The results can be used to design new thermosensitive systems by matching the alkyl content of a polycation with an effect of the small molecular salt. Nearly an unlimited number of thermoresponsive polymers can be designed following the approach introduced in this article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5870-5883
Number of pages14
JournalPolymer Chemistry
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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