By Cagla Erkoc, Erol Yıldırım, Mine Yurtsever, Oguz Okay
They synthesized six different copolymeric hydrogels without adding any croslinker, by making use of the power of the H-bonded networking at various molar ratios of the monomers in the presence of 60 wt % water. They showed that the physical hydrogels with a high modulus and strength could be possible. The hydrophobicity of the monomers and the competing interactions between the copolymer chains and copolymer−water were quantitatively elucidated by the all-atom MD simulations in the explicit water, density functional theory calculations, and molecular descriptors by remaining faithful to the experimental compositions. The crucial factors determining the mechanical performance of the copolymer hydrogels were explored.