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Volume confinement induced microstructural transitions and property enhancements of supramolecular soft materials

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journal contribution
posted on 2011-03-07, 00:00 authored by B Yuan, X Y Liu, Jingliang LiJingliang Li, H Y Xu
The rheological properties of supramolecular soft functional materials are determined by the networks within the materials. This research reveals for the first time that the volume confinement during the formation of supramolecular soft functional materials will exert a significant impact on the rheological properties of the materials. A class of small molecular organogels formed by the gelation of N-lauroyl-L-glutamic acid din-butylamide (GP-1) in ethylene glycol (EG) and propylene glycol (PG) solutions were adopted as model systems for this study. It follows that within a confined space, the elasticity of the gel can be enhanced more than 15 times compared with those under un-restricted conditions. According to our optical microscopy observations and rheological measurements, this drastic enhancement is caused by the structural transition from a multi-domain network system to a single network system once the average size of the fiber network of a given material reaches the lowest dimension of the system. The understanding acquired from this work will provide a novel strategy to manipulate the network structure of soft materials, and exert a direct impact on the micro-engineering of such supramolecular materials in micro and nano scales.

History

Journal

Soft matter

Volume

7

Issue

5

Pagination

1708 - 1713

Publisher

Royal Society of Chemistry

Location

Cambridge, U. K.

ISSN

1744-683X

eISSN

1744-6848

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, The Royal Society of Chemistry