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Influence of the near molecular vicinity on the temperature regulated fluorescence response of Poly(N-vinylcaprolactam)

: Enzenberg, A.; Laschewsky, A.; Boeffel, C.; Wischerhoff, E.

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Polymers. Online resource 8 (2016), No.4, Art. 109, 21 pp.
ISSN: 2073-4360
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IAP ()

A series of new fluorescent dye bearing monomers, including glycomonomers, based on maleamide and maleic esteramide was synthesized. The dye monomers were incorporated by radical copolymerization into thermo responsive poly(N-vinyl-caprolactam) that displays a lower critical solution temperature (LCST) in aqueous solution. The effects of the local molecular environment on the polymers luminescence, in particular on the fluorescence intensity and the extent of solvatochromism, were investigated below as well as above the phase transition. By attaching substituents of varying size and polarity in the close vicinity of the fluorophore, and by varying the spacer groups connecting the dyes to the polymer backbone, we explored the underlying structure-property relationships, in order to establish rules for successful sensor designs, e.g., for molecular thermometers. Most importantly, spacer groups of sufficient length separating the fluorophore from the polymer backbone proved to be crucial for obtaining pronounced temperature regulated fluorescence responses.