Two-Component Thermoreversible Hydrogels of Melamine and Gallic Acid

A new two-component hydrogel of melamine and gallic acid is reported for three different compositions of the components. Optical and scanning electron microscopy indicate the fibrillar network structure of the gel, and the DSC study indicates a reversible first-order phase transition in the system. The storage modulus (<i>G</i>’) versus frequency plot is linear and invariant at 35 and 50 °C but not at 70 °C, where it is in the sol state. The rheological melting point of 58 °C is close to the gel melting point obtained from DSC. The system shows a strong influence of pH on gelation. An FTIR study indicates H-bond formation between the >CO group of gallic acid and the −NH<sub>2</sub> group of melamine. <sup>1</sup>H NMR spectra indicate the presence of π−π stacking in the gel. The UV−vis peak positions of gallic acid remain unaffected during complexation; however, the normalized absorption intensity is higher in the GM13 sol compared to that of other complexes. The photoluminescence (PL) spectra of the gels are interesting, showing a two-order increase in intensity in the gel state compared to that in the sol state. Three different structures of the complexes are proposed for the three different compositions of the components.