Anal. Chim. Acta, Vol. 854 (2015), pp. 118-121

graphical-abstract
    • “A method for an approximate determination of a polymer-rich-domain concentration in phase-separated poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) aqueous solution by means of confocal Raman microspectroscopy combined with optical tweezers.”
    • Mitsuhiro Matsumoto, Ryo Wakabayashi, Takanori Tada, Taka-Aki Asoh, Tatsuya Shoji, Noboru Kitamura, Yasuyuki Tsuboi

graphical-abstract

The paper demonstrates that a confocal Raman microspectroscope combined with optical tweezers is a promising technique to estimate polymer concentration in polymer-rich domain in phase-separated-aqueous polymer solution. The sample polymer is poly-(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) that is well-known as a representative thermo-responsive polymer. Optical tweezers can selectively trap the polymer-rich domain at the focal point in non-contact and non-intrusive modes. Such situation allows us to determine polymer concentration in the domain, which has been unclear due to a lack of appropriate analytical technique. It is applicable for a variety of other thermo-responsive polymers.