The effects of a series of short chain alcohols, 1-butanol (C4OH), 1-pentanol (C5OH), and 1-hexanol (C6OH), on the styrene (ST) emulsion polymerization mechanisms and kinetics were investigated. The CMC of the ST emulsions stabilized by sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) first decreases rapidly and then levels off when the CiOH (i = 4, 5, or 6) concentration ([CiOH]) increases from 0 to 72 mM. Furthermore, at constant [CiOH], the CMC data in decreasing order is CMC (C4OH) > CMC (C5OH) > CMC (C6OH). The effects of CiOH (i = 4, 5, and 6) on the ST emulsion polymerization stabilized by 6 mM SDS are significant. This is attributed to the reduction in CMC by CiOH, the different oil–water interfacial properties, the different concentrations of monomer within latex particles, and the different effectiveness of SDS/CiOH in stabilizing latex particles. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 100: 4406–4411, 2006
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