Controlling the distribution of ionizable groups of opposite charge in microgels is an extremely challenging task, which could open new pathways to design a new generation of stimuli-responsive colloids. Herein we report, for the first time, a straightforward approach for the synthesis of polyampholyte Janus-like microgels, where ionizable groups of opposite charge are located on different sides of the colloidal network. Our synthesis approach is based on the controlled self-assembly of growing polyelectrolyte microgel precursors during the precipitation polymerization process. We confirmed the morphology of polyampholyte Janus-like microgels and demonstrate that they are capable of responding quickly to changes in both pH and temperature in aqueous solutions.
Wenjing Xu, Andrey Rudov, Alex Oppermann, Sarah Wypysek, Michael Kather, Ricarda Schroeder, Walter Richtering, Igor I. Potemkin, Dominik Wöll, and Andrij Pich
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 1248-1255, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201910450