Quantitative analysis of the cross-linked structure of microgels using fluorescent probes

Cathy Chu, Brian W. Schaefer, Ross J. DeVolder, Hyunjoon Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Properties of polymeric microgels are influenced by the internal polymer cross-linked structure, but tools to quantitatively analyze this internal structure are limited. With the finding that polymer networks alter the diffusivity and subsequent excimer formation of pyrene, this study used the ratio between pyrene excimer and monomer emission to determine the number of cross-links (N) and average pore size (ξ) in poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) microgels. A calibration curve to relate pyrene emission to N and ξ in PEGDA hydrogels was prepared and used to calculate N and ξ in PEGDA microgels. The pyrene emission indicated that PEGDA microgels had a higher cross-linking density and a smaller average pore size when compared with bulk cross-linked hydrogels of the same PEGDA concentration. The analytical method demonstrated in this study may be useful for fine-tuning polymeric microgel properties for a broad array of applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5288-5292
Number of pages5
Issue number22
StatePublished - Oct 20 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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