Preparation of surface‐reinforced superabsorbent polymer hydrogel microspheres via incorporation of in situ synthesized silver nanoparticles

Semin Kim, Minsu Kim, Won Gun Koh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Superabsorbent polymer (SAP) particles are primarily applied for absorbing and storing liquids. Here, poly (acrylic acid) (PAA)‐based SAP microspheres incorporated with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are prepared as an effort to maintain microsphere shape during swelling and minimize gel blocking. PAA‐based SAP spheres are synthesized via inverse suspension polymerization. AgNPs are formed within SAP spheres through in situ reduction of silver nitrate (AgNO3), using polyvinylpyrrolidone as the reducing agent. The formation of AgNPs within SAP was observed via techniques such as scanning electron microscopy, ultraviolet‐visible spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Energy dispersive spectroscopy analyses reveal that thin and dense layers of AgNPs are formed on the outer regions of the SAP spheres at higher concentrations of AgNO3. The water absorbency capacity decreases on increasing the amount of incorporated silver nanoparticles; however, it is comparable with that of commercially available surface‐crosslinked SAP particles. Finally, micro‐computerized tomography (micro‐CT) study revealed that AgNP‐incorporated SAP spheres maintained their shapes during swelling and exhibit higher void fractions in the packed gel bed, minimizing gel blocking and improving fluid permeability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number902
JournalPolymers
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by LG Chem Ltd., and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (ministry of Science and ICT) (NRF‐ 2017M3A7B4041798, NRF‐2017M3D1A1039289).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics

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