Fang Yin, PhD student at Softmat, has defended her thesis on multi-responsive copolymers

Fang carried out her research in the IDeAS team at the Softmat laboratory.

On 2nd December, she defended her thesis entitled: “Multi-responsive copolymers: effect of composition and/or structure on their properties in water”

In aqueous solution, polymers sensitive to a stimulus such as temperature, light, pH, etc. are likely to undergo reversible changes of their properties (solubility, organization, etc.) when an external stimulus is applied or removed. Many applications take advantage of this phenomenon, in particular in the field of drug delivery, tissue engineering, smart textiles and functional membranes.
In this project, heat-sensitive monomers were copolymerized with different types of monomers (hydrophobic, temperature sensitive, pH/CO2 sensitive) by RAFT polymerization and characterized.
The influence of the copolymer composition and/or structure on the solubilization properties and the type of organization obtained in aqueous solution were more particularly studied by diffusion, NMR, thermal analysis and microscopy techniques.
In particular, these polymer solutions were used for the formation of hydrogels and tunable catalytic systems.

hydrogel of heat-sensitive polymers, observed with Scanning Electron Microscope © Fang Yin / Softmat

colloids formed in aqueous solution by block polymers, observed with Transmission Electron Microscope © Fang Yin / Softmat

Highlights of the thesis:

  • Fang presented her research at C’Nano, an international meeting in nanoscience, on November 2021.
  • These results are also published in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science.

Congratulations to Fang for the quality of her work!