In this paper, ultrasonic induced encapsulating emulsion polymerization was first used to prepare the novel polymer/inorganic nanoparticles composites. The behaviors of several inorganic nanoparticles (SiO2, Al2O3, TiO2) under ultrasonic irradiation, such as dispersion, crushing, and activation, were studied. The dispersion stability, morphology, and structure of the ultrasonic irradiated nanoparticles were characterized by means of transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), and spectrophotometry, respectively. The results show that the inorganic nanoparticles in the aqueous solution can redisperse more effectively by ultrasonic irradiation than by conventional stirring. This is the basis for preparation of polymer/inorganic nanoparticles composites. By this technique, the long-term stable latex, which mainly consists of polymer/inorganic nanoparticles composite latex particles, were successfully prepared. TEM, FTIR, thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, spectrophotometry, and element analysis confirmed that well-dispersed nanoparticles were encapsulated by the formed polymer, and the thickness of encapsulating polymer layer was in the range of 5–65 nm. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 80: 1478–1488, 2001
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