Synthesis of chitosan and N-vinylimidazole graft-copolymers and the properties of their aqueous solutions
The aim of this work is to synthesise chitosan and N-vinylimidazole graft-copolymers of various compositions and to study the properties of their aqueous solutions.
Chitosan and N-vinylimidazole graft-copolymers were obtained by solution polymerisation in the presence of a ceric ammonium nitrate redox initiator. The synthesised graft copolymers were characterised by FTIR to determine their compositions and the grafted side chains of poly-N-vinylimidazole were characterised by gel permeation chromatography to determine their molecular wights and polydispersity indices. It was established that the obtained products are characterised by high values of yield and grafting efficiency and low values of the polydispersity index. It was found that when the content of the N-vinylimidazole links is above 57 wt%, the synthesised graft copolymers are water-soluble. Aqueous solutions of the obtained copolymers were characterised using dynamic light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, and laser
Doppler microelectrophoresis. The study showed that macromolecules of graft copolymers in aqueous solutions have stimuli-sensitive properties with respect to the medium reaction and at a concentration above 10–2 wt% are characterised by a tendency to self-association forming core-crown aggregates, the geometry of which depends on the molecular masses of the grafted chains. Associates of macromolecules in solutions are characterised by positive values of the electrokinetic potential, the values of which also depend on the medium reaction. Thus, it was found that the ceric ammonium nitrate initiator allows obtaining chitosan and N-vinylimidazole graft-copolymers showing stimuli-sensitive properties in aqueous solutions and prone to self-association at concentrations above 10–2 wt%.
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