Liquid crystalline polymer particles prepared by classical polymerization techniques are receiving increased attention as promising candidates for use in a variety of applications including micro-actuators, structurally colored objects, and absorbents. These particles have anisotropic molecular order and liquid crystalline phases that distinguish them from conventional polymer particles. In this minireview, the preparation of liquid crystalline polymer particles from classical suspension, (mini-)emulsion, dispersion, and precipitation polymerization reactions are discussed. The particle sizes, molecular orientations, and liquid crystalline phases produced by each technique are summarized and compared. We conclude with a discussion of the challenges and prospects of the preparation of liquid crystalline polymer particles by classical polymerization techniques.
- dispersion polymerization
- liquid crystal polymer particles
- mini-emulsion polymerization
- precipitation polymerization
- suspension polymerization