• particle size distribution;
  • emulsion polymerization;
  • distribution of carboxyl groups;
  • conductometric titration;
  • microstructure


Polymer microspheres with narrow size distribution and with carboxyl groups on their surfaces were synthesized by soap-free emulsion polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA), ethyl acrylate (EA), and acrylic acid (AA), and the distribution of –COOH in the latex was determined by conductometric titration. Effects of ingredients on polymerization, latex particle size (Dp), and its distribution, and the distribution of –COOH were investigated. Results showed that monomer conversion and the amount of embedded –COOH (Ea) decreased, and Dp increased with increasing amounts of NH4HCO3. The amounts of surface –COOH (Sa) and water –COOH (Fa) and the number of –COOH on each square centimeter of the particles' surface (Sd) increased with increasing amounts of NH4HCO3 and AA. With the increase of initiator (APS) and AA, Dp deceased. Ea increased with the increase of AA. Fa increased and then remained constant, and Sd decreased with the increase of initiator. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 92: 433–438, 2004