Block copolymer surfactants in emulsion polymerization: Influence of the miscibility of the hydrophobic block on kinetics, particle morphology, and film formation

A. Munoz Bonilla, S.I. Ali, A. Campo, del, M. Fernandez-Garcia, A.M. Herk, van, J.P.A. Heuts

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Abstract

A brush type amphiphilic block copolymer of polystyrene-b-poly[poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate], PS40-b-PPEGMA70, obtained via ATRP was used as stabilizer in the emulsion polymerization of methyl methacrylate. It was shown that the incompatibility between the growing polymer particles of poly(methyl methacrylate) and the hydrophobic segment of the block copolymer surfactant (polystyrene) affects both the kinetics of the emulsion polymerization and the resulting particle morphologies. Because of the incompatibility of the two polymers, phase separation occurs, and the particle morphology changes from roughly spherical core–shell to more irregular with particles containing clusters of block copolymer surfactant as the amount of block copolymer surfactant increases. This in turn has an effect on the film formation, which results in turbid films. The results obtained from the emulsion polymerization of methyl methacrylate, the obtained hairy latex particles, and the film formation process were compared with those obtained in the emulsion polymerization of styrene where both the core of the particles and the hydrophobic segment of the block copolymer are the same polymer. In this case spherical and monodisperse particles are obtained irrespective of the block copolymer surfactant concentration, and transparent films are formed after annealing above the glass transition temperature
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4282-4290
JournalMacromolecules
Volume44
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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