100th Anniversary of Macromolecular Science Viewpoint: The Role of Hydrophobicity in Polymer Phenomena

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


  • Irem Akar
  • Marcus C. Grocott
  • Robert T. Mathers

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Birmingham
  • Pennsylvania State University


The seemingly simple notion of the hydrophobic effect can be viewed from multiple angles involving theory, simulation, and experiments. This viewpoint examines five attributes of predictive models to enhance synthetic efforts as well as experimental methods to quantify hydrophobicity. In addition, we compare existing predictive models against experimental data for polymer surface tension, lower critical solution temperature, solution self-assembly morphology, and degradation behavior. Key conclusions suggest that both the Hildebrand solubility parameters (HSPs) and surface area-normalized Log P (Log P SA-1) values provide unique and complementary insights into polymer phenomena. In particular, HSPs appear to better describe bulk polymer phenomena for thermoplastics such as surface tension, while Log P SA-1 values are well-suited for describing and predicting the behavior of polymers in solution.

Bibliographic note

Funding Information: This work is supported by the Ministry of Turkish Education, EPSRC (EP/S00338X/1), ERC Consolidator Grant (No. 615142) and the University of Birmingham.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1700-1707
Number of pages8
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number11
Early online date4 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2020