Modified emulsifier-free emulsion polymerization of butyl methacrylate with ionic or/and nonionic comonomers

Authors

  • Xiao-Jun Xu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 3231 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
    • Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 3231 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
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  • Fengxi Chen

    1. Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, Block 28, #02-08, Ayer Rajah Crescent, Singapore 139959
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Abstract

A modified emulsifier-free emulsion polymerization of butyl methacrylate (BMA) with ionic or/and nonionic comonomers was successfully used to prepare nanosized poly(butyl methacrylate) (PBMA) latices with high polymer contents. After seeding particles were generated in an initial emulsion system, consisting of a portion of BMA, water, ionic comonomer [sodium styrenesulfonate (NaSS)] or nonionic comonomer [2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA)] and potassium persulfate, most of the BMA monomer or the mixture of BMA and HEMA was added dropwise to the polymerizing emulsion over a period of 6–12 h. Stable latices with high PBMA contents up to 27% were obtained. It was found that the latex particle sizes (2Rh) were largely reduced (34 nm) by the continuous addition of monomer(s) compared to those (107 nm) obtained by the batch polymerization method. The effect of comonomer concentration on the particle size, the number of PBMA particles/mL of latex (Nd), and the molar mass (Mw) of copolymer during the polymerization were discussed. The surface compositions of latex particles were analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, indicating that the surface of latex particles was significantly enriched in NaSS or/and HEMA. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 92: 3080–3087, 2004

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