Pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs) were produced with latexes synthesized via starved semibatch emulsion polymerization processes with butyl acrylate, three different kinds of hard monomers [styrene (St), methyl methacrylate, and 2-phenoxy ethyl methacrylate (SR340)], acrylic acid, and 2-hydroxy ethyl acrylate. The management of both the copolymer composition and the polymerization process allowed us to control the behavior of the PSAs. For the acrylate latexes, the types of hard monomers and their contents, the concentration of buffer [bicarbonate (NaHCO3)], and three kinds of semibatch processes were manipulated to modify the polymer properties. The performance of the PSA films cast from these latexes was evaluated by the peel strength. The results show that the PSA prepared with St exhibited the highest peel strength among the three hard monomers, and the latex synthesized by SR340 showed the largest gel content compared with the other two hard monomers. With increasing buffer, the latex particle size increased, and the peel strength initially increased to a maximum and then decreased. Nevertheless, the stability of the latexes decreased with increasing buffer concentration. In addition, the effects of the three kinds of semibatch processes on the peel strength of the PSA were also evaluated. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 40095.