Soft poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) nanogels surface-decorated with AuNPs. Response to temperature, light, and RF-field

Joonas Siirilä, Mikko Karesoja, Petri Pulkkinen, Jani Markus Malho, Heikki Tenhu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Soft poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) (PNVCL) based nanogels were prepared and surface-decorated with gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). The applicability of the hybrid nanogels (PNVCL-AuNPs) as carriers for low molar mass substances was of special interest. AuNPs protected with a mixture of 11-azidoundecanothiol and 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid were bound to propargyl functionalized PNVCL based nanogels. Acidic groups on the surfaces of AuNPs and PNVCL based nanogels stabilize the particle dispersions against precipitation above the phase transition temperature of PNVCL. Both the neat PNVCL nanogels and the PVCL-AuNPs shrink upon heating the dispersions. Even though the AuNPs are mainly located in the soft surface layer of the nanogels, the PNVCL-AuNPs respond to visible light as well as to radio-frequency (RF) irradiation by shrinking due to the AuNPs acting as nanoheaters. Interactions of linear PNVCL, PNVCL nanogels and PNVCL-AuNPs with two fluorescent probes were studied as function of increasing temperature. Once bound to the polymer the fluorescent probe may or may not be released from it, depending on its polarity and water solubility. Presence of AuNPs changed the release behavior of the water soluble charged fluorescent probe from the nanogels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-69
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Polymer Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cargo delivery systems
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Light responsive
  • Radio-frequency responsive
  • Surface decorated particles
  • Thermoresponsive
  • Vinyl lactams
  • Water-dispersed nanogels

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