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Effect of porogenic solvent on the porous properties of polymer monoliths



Polymer monoliths with open pores and median pore size of about 15 nm–3 μm have been successfully synthesized by photoinitiated polymerization of butyl methacrylate and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate monomers. The solubility of the monomers in a porogenic solvent is determined by Hildebrand solubility parameter, and it is found that it has great effect on the pore size of the polymers synthesized. Polymers with larger pores are usually generated with poorer solvents for the monomers. However, polymers with different pore sizes and porosities have been obtained using porogenic solvents with similar Hildebrand solubility parameters. The evaporation rate of the porogenic solvents might be another critical factor affecting the properties of the polymer monoliths. Moreover, the effect of water as a cosolvent on the pore size and porosity of the polymers have also been investigated. Polymers with larger pore size have been prepared with the presence of water due to the occurrence of earlier phase separation in the polymerization. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013