Successful miniemulsion polymerizations of very hydrophobic monomers, such as lauryl methacrylate and 4-tert-butyl styrene, initiated by very hydrophobic (i.e., completely water-insoluble) lauroyl peroxide, are reported. Conversion-time histories, as well as final latex properties, for example, the particle size distribution, are different from similar miniemulsion polymerizations in the presence of water-soluble initiators. The observed differences can be attributed to the average number of radicals inside a miniemulsion particle; the system obeys Smith-Ewart case I rather than Case II kinetics. Albeit the pairwise generation of radicals in the monomer droplets, substantial polymerization rates are observed. Water, present in the droplet interfacial layer, is supposed to act as chain transfer agent. The product of a chain transfer event is a hydroxyl radical, exit of this hydroxyl radical allows for the presence of single radicals in particles. The proposed mechanisms allow for agreement between initial droplet and final particle size distributions in miniemulsion polymerization initiated by lauroyl peroxide.
|Journal||Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|