• associative thickeners;
  • hydrophobically modified polyelectrolyte;
  • semifluorinated acrylates;
  • fluoropolymer;
  • rheology


Introduction of fluorocarbon segments in an associative thickener copolymer (ethyl acrylate (EA)/methacrylic acid/macromonomer) was achieved by the substitution of EA with either trifluoroethyl acrylate, 2-perfluorobutylethyl acrylate, or 2-perfluorooctylethyl acrylate. The thickening properties were evaluated by rheological flow experiments in aqueous medium as well as in 10 wt % of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) aqueous solution. Whereas in the literature no particular attention is devoted to the impact of the ethylene moieties in hydrophobically modified alkali-soluble emulsion (HASE) skeleton, our study reveals they contribute significantly to the performances when modified by an incompatible fluorocarbon segment. Moreover, the synthesis process has a huge influence by inducing a specific distribution of the fluorinated acrylates in the macromolecule. The amount of substitution is also important and even 20 mol % of EA substituted reveals a great impact on the rheological properties of the copolymer solutions. Whereas an SDS aqueous medium generally destroys almost all the hydrocarbon interactions from the macromonomer, the total replacement of ethyl groups by trifluoroethyl groups with a cosolvent process, leads to emulsions with an equivalent thickening effect than the reference hydrocarbon HASE used. This result is quite encouraging for research work on the synthesis of HASE with increased biocompatibility. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011