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Keywords:

  • emulsion polymerization;
  • irradiation;
  • differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)

Abstract

We performed the emulsion polymerization of styrene successfully with potassium persulfate (KPS) as an initiator and sodium dodecylsulfonate as an emulsifier under high-power pulsed microwave irradiation (PMI). We investigated the effects of the temperature, the concentration of initiator, and various parameters of PMI (i.e., irradiation power, duty cycle, irradiation energy, and pulse width) on the polymerization. The results indicated that PMI, compared to conventional heating (CH), caused a significant increase in the decomposition rate of KPS (2.4 times higher than that under CH at about 70°C) and in the amount of particles (5 times higher than that under CH); consequently, the polymerization rate was effectively enhanced. For initiator concentrations of 0.10 and 0.20 wt %, the enhancement of the polymerization rate under PMI was 129 and 38% greater, respectively, than that under CH. The glass-transition temperature and the regularity composition of the polymers under PMI and CH showed no difference, which indicated that PMI had little effect on the physical properties and microstructure of the polymer. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 89: 28–35, 2003