College of Engineering and Polymer Science

Date of Last Revision

2021-09-14 17:40:03


Chemical Engineering

Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2021


It has been hypothesized that poly(vinylmethylether) (PVME) could be used to replace poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (pNIPAAM) in various thermoresponsive applications based on literature searches and previous lab experiments. PVME is cheaper and easier to process, and would make pNIPAAM applications more cost effective. In order to verify this, experimental data was gathered on the effects of four anions from the Hofmeister series (SO42-, Cl-, I-, and SCN-) on the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of pNIPAAM and compared to previous data collected on PVME. Commercial pNIPAAM from Sigma Aldrich and Polysciences were used. The reported LCST range for pNIPAAM is 30-35°C. From this study, the pNIPAAM from Sigma Aldrich was found to be at the upper end of this range, and pNIPAAM from Polysciences at the lower end. ANOVA and t Tests were run to determine significant difference in the LCST between the polymers. The results were inconclusive, with there being significant differences for some ions, but not in others. It is recommended that further testing to be completed with an increased number of tests for each anion in order to have more accurate statistical analyses. It is also recommended to use other anions in the Hofmeister series.

Research Sponsor

Bi-min Zhang Newby

First Reader

Edward Evans

Second Reader

Roya Gitiafroz

Honors Faculty Advisor

Bi-min Zhang Newby



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