Polymer phase transition in n-lauryl methacrylate monoliths

Zahra Dembahri, Severine le Gac, Kamal Tobal, Naziha Chirani, Christian Rolando, Farida Benmouna, Mustapha Benmouna

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    Monolithic materials prepared from a mixture of n-lauryl methacrylate (LMA) and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) dedicated to nano-liquid chromatography separation were synthesized using in situ UV polymerization in 75 µm inner diameter capillary tubing. A mixture of cyclohexanol and ethylene glycol was used as a porogen to control porosity. While the preparation conditions yielded satisfactory analytical results, values of pertinent parameters turned out to be critical for obtaining columns with efficient separation. In particular, the impact of two key parameters was studied here in an attempt to identify optimal preparation conditions: (a) different concentrations of the crosslinker EGDMA and (b) different porogen compositions while the monomer to porogen ratio was kept constant. Resulting monolithic phases were characterized in terms of permeability, mean pore diameter and swelling using three different eluents (water, acetonitrile and a mixture at maximum viscosity). First, the LMA/EGDMA monolithic phases present peculiar morphology and hydrodynamic properties for 37% by weight of EGDMA, as reflected by the peak observed for their permeability and mean pore diameter. Swelling experiments revealed the coexistence of two phases in the monolithic structure: a highly crosslinked rigid phase which was insensitive to swelling in the presence of solvent and a weakly crosslinked flexible phase exhibiting significant swelling, with a transition to such a biphasic behavior taking place at 37% by weight of EGDMA. The effects of porogen composition and network swelling properties are presented based on a combination of the Flory − Huggins theory of isotropic mixing in polymer solutions and the Flory − Rehner theory of rubber elasticity in the affine network approximation. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)706-7122
    JournalPolymer international
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • METIS-321611
    • IR-103624


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