Miniemulsion Polymerization and the Structure of Polymer and Hybrid Nanoparticles

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  • Published on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz.

Abstract

The miniemulsion process allows the formation of complex polymer nanoparticles and the encapsulation of widely varying materials into a polymer shell (see examples). Functionalization of the nanoparticles can be easily carried out, and polymerization to form polymer nanoparticles can be performed in environmentally friendly solvents, such as water.

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The miniemulsion process allows the formation of complex structured polymeric nanoparticles and the encapsulation of a solid or liquid, an inorganic or organic, or a hydrophobic or hydrophilic material into a polymer shell. Many different materials, ranging from organic and inorganic pigments, magnetite, or other solid nanoparticles, to hydrophobic and hydrophilic liquids, such as fragrances, drugs, or photoinitators, can be encapsulated. Functionalization of the nanoparticles can also be easily obtained. Compared to polymerization processes in organic solvents, polymerization to obtain polymeric nanoparticles can be performed in environmentally friendly solvents, usually water.

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