Hydrogels are an outstanding material for sensor and actuator applications, for example, chemosensors and microfluidics, and have been extensively studied in both, experiments as well as in modeling within the last years. The theoretical investigations of hydrogels are key factors for the development of new hydrogel-based concepts in research and engineering. The recent approaches in modeling of the light-sensitive behavior of hydrogels are often complicated and very detailed. Commonly, they are based on the Helmholtz free energy function within a continuum-mechanical framework. In contrast, the Stimulus Expansion Model (SEM) is a simple and very effective approach to embed the swelling properties of a hydrogel into a continuum mechanical framework. Originally, the SEM was applied to chemical stimulation processes based on available experimental swelling curves. The current work provides an extension of the SEM for photo-thermo-sensitive hydrogels. The present approach considers (i) the attenuation of light by applying Lambert-Beer’s law as well as (ii) the energy transfer of light into heat. In this study, PNIPAm hydrogels with incorporated light-absorbing particles of copper-chlorophyllin are investigated. To demonstrate the capabilities of the presented approach, the effect of the variation of (i) light power, (ii) particle volume fraction, and (iii) ambient temperatures on the swelling behavior is analyzed. The obtained results show an excellent correlation with experimental results from literature. Concluding, the extended Stimulus Expansion Model provides further opportunities to design and simulate photo-thermo-sensitive hydrogels for engineering applications.
|Number of pages
|Journal of intelligent material systems and structures
|Published - 24 Apr 2023
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Sustainable Development Goals
- Hydrogels, modeling, photo-thermo-sensitive gels, stimulus expansion model, thermal stimulation, Stimulus expansion model, Photo-thermo-sensitive gels, Modeling, Thermal stimulation