Carbon quantum dots improve the mechanical behavior of polyvinyl alcohol/polyethylene glycol hydrogel

Hu, Feng and Lu, Hailin and Xu, Guangshen and Lv, Leifeng and Chen, Lu and Shao, Zhonglei (2022) Carbon quantum dots improve the mechanical behavior of polyvinyl alcohol/polyethylene glycol hydrogel. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 139 (34). e52805. ISSN 0021-8995 (

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As the wear and tear effects of artificial joints disturb patients after joint replacement, techniques of new lubrication materials or methods are constantly being investigated. Hydrothermal method was adopted to produce carbon quantum dots (CDs), and physically cross-linked polyvinyl alcohol-polyethylene glycol hydrogel (PVA-PEG) to encapsulate CDs, which was evaluated as a lubricant for lubrication appraisal with their slow-release solution. Results of the friction experiment showed that the addition of CDs changed the structure of the gel and promoted the tribological properties of the gel. The structural characterization results show that the CDs are successfully wrapped in gel. The network cross-linked structure of the gel is improved due to the addition of CDs, which are shown by the results of thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry analysis (DSC). At the same time, CDs can influence the thermal stability and crystallinity of the gel as well as the degree of cross-linking. These results of TGA and DSC suggest that the curled molecular chain will not be stretched during the gel cross-linking process. After 2 h of self-healing, the recovered gel did not break again under the pull of external force. All these contribute to the preparation and application of hydrogels which is worth looking forward to accelerate the development of polymer lubrication.