Cononsolvency Transition of Polymer Brushes: A Combined Experimental and Theoretical Study
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In this study, the cononsolvency transition of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNiPAAm) brushes in aqueous ethanol mixtures was studied by using Vis-spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) discussed in conjunction with the adsorption-attraction model. We proved that the cononsolvency transition of PNiPAAm brushes showed features of a volume phase transition, such as a sharp collapse, reaching a maximum decrease in thickness for a very narrow ethanol volume composition range of 15% to 17%. These observations are in agreement with the recently published preferential adsorption model of the cononsolvency effect.