Polymer Inverse Temperature-Dependent Solubility: A Visual Demonstration of the Importance ofTSin the Gibbs Equation Academic Article uri icon


  • Reversible polymer dehydration and precipitation from water due to the unfavorable entropy of hydration is examined using a melting-point apparatus. The thermoresponsive lower critical solution temperature (LCST) behavior of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) is responsible for these effects. An experiment is described that allows students to test the effects of different salts at various concentrations on PNIPAM's LCST. These studies demonstrate the Hofmeister effect of salts on macromolecule hydration. The use of readily available melting-point equipment and sealed capillary tube samples of aqueous solutions of PNIPAM in various salts provides an economical and simple way to study these phenomena. 2012 American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Chemical Education

author list (cited authors)

  • Bergbreiter, D. E., Mijalis, A. J., & Fu, H.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012 11:11 AM