A self-oscillating gel is a system that generates an autonomous volume oscillation. This oscillation is powered by the chemical energy of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction, which demonstrates metal ion redox oscillation. A self-oscillating gel is composed of Poly-N-isopropylacrylamide (PNIPAAm) with a metal ion. In this study, we found that the displacement of the volume oscillation in a self-oscillating gel could be controlled by its being subjected to a prestraining process. We also revealed the driving mechanism of the self-oscillating gel from the point of view of thermodynamics. We observed that the polymer-solvent interaction parameter χ is altered by the redox changes to the metal ion incorporated in the self-oscillating gel. The prestraining process leads to changes in χ and changes in enthalpy and entropy when the self-oscillating gel is in a reduced and oxidized state. We found that nonprestrained gel samples oscillate in a poor solution (χ>0.5) and prestrained gel samples oscillate in a good solution (χ<0.5).
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