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Reinforced Hydrogels Via Carbon Nitride Initiated Polymerization

Baris Kumru, Menny Shalom, M. Antonietti, B. V. Schmidt
Published 2017 · Materials Science

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The utilization of graphitic carbon nitride (g-CN) as photoinitiator for hydrogel formation is reported. On top of the photochemical activity, g-CN entails the role of a reinforcing agent. Hydrogels formed via g-CN (0.6 wt % g-CN and 11 wt % solid content in total) possess significantly increased mechanical strength, around 32 times stronger storage moduli (from 250 Pa for the reference sample up to 8300 Pa for g-CN derived hydrogels) than the ones initiated with common radical initiators. In addition, the g-CN derived hydrogels show mechanical properties that are pH dependent. Therefore, g-CN acts as a photoinitiator for hydrogel formation and as reinforcer at the same time.
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