There are many polymers formed of acrylate monomers in existence. Here we interrogate four commonly-used examples and study how their solution properties are pH dependent, or how their state of ionisation can affect their solution properties. Poly(acrylic acid) and poly(methacrylic acid) are both polyelectrolytes, with ionisable functional groups that make them stimuli responsive, changing their hydrodynamic volume. Poly(acrylamide) is a mass-produced material used in a variety of industrial applications, often with an anionic and cationic co-monomer, which dictates both its efficacy and impact on the environment. Poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) is a thermally responsive material with applications in smart bioengineering. In solution, these materials can interact with each other due to competing hydrogen bonding interactions. However, this interpolymer complexation is dependent on both the ionisation, and the conformational state, of the polymers involved. This review focuses on the results from fluorescence tagging and turbidimetric techniques.
Part of the book: Acrylate Polymers for Advanced Applications