• Fe3O4;
  • PMMA;
  • composite latex particle;
  • nucleation mechanism;
  • kinetic model


In this work, a generalized mathematical model was developed to estimate the variation of particle concentration during the entire course of soapless emulsion polymerization of methyl methacrylate with ferrofluid. Two mechanisms for the nucleation and growth of particles throughout the polymerization reaction were discussed: Mechanism I – seeded polymerization; and Mechanism II – self-nucleation polymerization. Here, the self-nucleation included homogeneous nucleation and micelle nucleation. Coagulation between particles, which came from different nucleation mechanisms during the course of polymerization, was considered and included in this model. When appropriate parameters were selected, this model could be successfully used to interpret the variation of particle concentration during the entire reaction. Under different conditions, rate of polymerization, number of radicals in each particle, average molecular weight of polymers, and rate constant of termination were also calculated. All of them explained the experimental results quite well. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 100: 4925–4934, 2006