The preparation and characterisation of polymer latices formed in the absence of surface active agents


  • Paper presented at the S.C.I. Symposium on, “Heterophase and Emulsion Polymers” held in January 1973.


Methods have been devised for the formation of monodisperse polystyrene latices in the absence of added surface active agents. The particles are stabilised, as a colloidal dispersion, by surface groupings which are an integral part of the particle and are not removed by dialysis. By suitable variation of the ionic strength of the aqueous phase, the initiator concentration and the polymerisation temperature, the final particle size obtained in single-stage reactions was varied between c. 0.15 and 1.0 μm. The coefficient of variation on particle diameters was usually less than 5%. The ionic strength of the aqueous phase was found to play an important part in determining particle size; this was explained in terms of a limited coagulation process occurring at the stage involving the nucleation of polymer particles. Conductometric titration experiments revealed the presence of sulphate, carboxyl and hydroxyl groups on the particle surfaces. Molecular weight determination of the polystyrene formed showed that this was lower than that formed in conventional emulsion polymerisation.