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Abstract

Experimental evidence is presented that describes the mechanism of formation of macroreticular styrene–divinylbenzene copolymers in which phase separation occurs during a suspension polymerization. The mode of formation of the macroreticular structure is described as a three-stage process in which each droplet of the organic phase behaves as an individual in a bulk polymerization that results in a bead of copolymer. Macroreticular structure formation is described by changes in copolymer swelling ratios, infrared absorption spectra of vinyl groups pendent to the polymeric matrices, surface area, total porosity, and pore-size distribution. The proposed mechanism of formation is also substantiated by electron micrographs of the copolymers during various stages of the copolymerization.