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Keywords:

  • core-shell microspheres;
  • reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization;
  • particle size;
  • focused ion beam (FIB) milling

Abstract

Styrene has been grafted from crosslinked poly(divinylbenzene) core microspheres by both reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization and conventional free radical polymerization. The core microspheres were prepared by precipitation polymerization. Crosslinked poly(DVB) core microspheres containing double bonds on the particle surface can be used directly to graft polymers from the surface by RAFT without prior modification of the core microspheres. The RAFT agent 1-phenylethyl dithiobenzoate (PEDB) was used: Particle sizes increased from 2 μm up to 3.06 μm, and the particle weight increased by up to 6.5%. PEDB controls the particle weight gain, the particle volume, and the molecular weight of the soluble polymer. PEDB was also used to synthesize core poly(DVB) RAFT microspheres that contain residual RAFT end groups on the surface and within the particle. Styrene was subsequently grafted from the surface of these core poly(DVB) RAFT microspheres. The generated microspheres were characterized by 1H-NMR spectroscopy, focused ion beam (FIB) milling, Coulter particle sizing, and size exclusion chromatography. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 42: 5067–5076, 2004