The morphology of interpenetrating polymeric networks (IPNs) composed of the temperature-sensitive poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAAm) and the pH-sensitive poly(methacrylic acid) (PMAA) were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The IPN hydrogels were prepared by a sequential UV polymerization method. SEM studies were conducted on IPN hydrogel samples dried by different methods, and the influence on the IPN structure was discussed. The environmental conditions induced morphological changes for these dual sensitive IPN hydrogels which were studied by cryogenic SEM, when the gels were analyzed in their wet state. The results showed that the porous size in the IPN was strongly influenced by the environmental pH and temperature. Decrease in pH and increase in temperature resulted in significant pore size decrease for the swollen IPNs hydrogels.
Polymer Science Laboratory, School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1283, USA.