Application of the Light Scattering Method to Study the Hydrogel Surface Structure
Keywords:light scattering, hydrogel, fractal dimension
Light scattering at the sol-gel transition in aqueous solutions of hydroxypropyl cellulose with sodium and potassium impurity ions has been studied. It is found that the transition brings about the light reflection associated with the formation of the hydrogel surface. A molecular model of the observed phenomenon is proposed. Assuming that the light scattering is described by the Rayleigh law, the corresponding equations are derived and used to calculate the fractal indices of the hydrogel surface structure. It is shown that the introduction of ionic impurities into the polymer solution leads to the swelling of molecular coils and the reduction of the fractal dimension of the hydrogel surface.
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