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Fabrication of thermally cross-linked poly(methacrylic acid)-based sponges with nanolayered structures and their degradation


Water-insoluble poly(methacrylic acid) (poly(MAAc)) sponges with nanolayered structures were fabricated via thermal cross-linking with poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA). The cross-linked water-insoluble sponges contained up to 75 wt% poly(MAAc) when the molecular weight of PVA and the cross-linking time were adjusted appropriately. After immersion in a NaClO·5H2O aqueous solution for 24 h, all poly(MAAc)/PVA_50 wt% sponges with different PVA molecular weights were completely dissolved, and their residual weights were approximately 0%. The molar ratio of NaClO·5H2O was 3.6 times that of the vinyl alcohol units in the sponges. The molecular weight (Mn) and molecular weight distribution (Mw/Mn) of poly(MAAc) observed after immersion in the NaClO·5H2O aqueous solution were similar to those of the original poly(MAAc) (Mn: 46200 g/mol, Mw/Mn: 1.65). In contrast, the gel permeation chromatography (GPC) curves for PVA were shifted to lower molecular weights with increasing NaClO·5H2O concentrations. These results suggested that only the PVA in the poly(MAAc)/PVA sponges was decomposed. Multilayer films of poly(MAAc)/PVA with different physicochemical properties were also fabricated. The first and third layers were made of a poly(MAAc)/PVA_10wt% film, and the second layer was made of a poly(MAAc)/PVA _50wt% sponge.

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This work was partially supported by the technical research aid projects 2019 (JFE 21st Century Foundation) and research grant 2021 (Iketani Science and Technology Foundation). We are grateful to Nippon Light Metal Co., Ltd., for providing NaClO·5H2O. We are grateful to Mr. Kazuo Hayakawa, Dr. Yusuke Wakikawa, and Dr. Takeaki Koizumi of the Advanced Instrumental Analysis Center at the Shizuoka Institute of Science and Technology for their technical support.

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Correspondence to Yohei Kotsuchibashi.

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Kobayashi, D., Uchida, H., Ishibane, M. et al. Fabrication of thermally cross-linked poly(methacrylic acid)-based sponges with nanolayered structures and their degradation. Polym J 55, 163–170 (2023).

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