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Report No.
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Structure of water in hydrogels investigated by neutron diffraction

Sekine, Yurina  ; Chi, S.*; Fernandez Baca, J.*; Fukazawa, Tomoko*; Fukazawa, Hiroshi

Hydrogels are unique polymer materials consisting of large amount of water in their three-dimensional networks. The structure of water is an important factor governing the chemical and physical properties of gel materials. To investigate structure and properties of water in poly-N,N,-dimethylacrylamide (PDMAA) gel, neutron diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) curve of the high (90wt%) and low (55wt%) D$$_{2}$$O content gels were measured. The neutron diffraction patterns show that amorphous, cubic, and hexagonal ices exist in the low D$$_{2}$$O content gel at low temperature, whereas only hexagonal ice exists in the high D$$_{2}$$O content gel. The DSC result shows that the low D$$_{2}$$O content gel contains only intermediate and bound water. In contrast, high D$$_{2}$$O content gel contains free, intermediate, and bound water. Therefore the results indicate that amorphous and cubic ices are only formed when the hydrogels do not have the free water.

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