Because of the new rigorous environmental regulations there is an increased need for substitution of the formulations based on organic solvents by aqueous ones. Water soluble polymers are suitable additives to control the rheology and stability of such formulations (pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food, water treatment, photography, paint, paper, mining and oil industries).
The objective of this project is the synthesis and study of new water soluble amphiphilic polymers combining interesting rheological properties (high viscosity and gelation), surface activity, solubilisation capacity for hydrophobic substances and controlled sensitivity to temperature and ionic strength. This will be achieved by the synthesis of copolymers constituted of a water-soluble and a surfactant-type monomers and by varying the relative fraction of each monomer. There will be a systematic study of their macroscopic properties as a function of the copolymer composition and the hydrophobicity of the surfactant-type monomer. Special attention will be paid on the switching and triggering possibilities with the variation of the temperature and ionic strength. The ultimate purpose of this project is to understand the relations between the macroscopic properties and the molecular structure of the above materials.