Nucleation of Polystyrene Latex Particles in the Presence of γ-Methacryloxypropyltrimethoxysilane: Functionalized Silica Particles
Silica/polystyrene nanocomposite particles with different morphologies were synthesized through emulsion polymerization of styrene in the presence of silica particles previously modified by γ-methacryloxypropyltrimethoxysilane (MPS). Grafting of the silane molecule was performed by direct addition of MPS to the aqueous silica suspension in the presence of an anionic surfactant under basic conditions. The MPS grafting density on the silica surface was determined using the depletion method and plotted against the initial MPS concentration. The influence of the MPS grafting density, the silica particles size and concentration and the nature of the surfactant on the polymerization kinetics and the particles morphology was investigated. When the polymerization was performed in the presence of an anionic surfactant, transmission electron microscopy images showed the formation of polymer spheres around silica for MPS grafting densities lower than typically 1 μmole·m−2 while the conversion versus time curves indicated a strong acceleration effect under such conditions. In contrast, polymerizations performed in the presence of a larger amount of MPS moieties or in the presence of a non ionic emulsifier resulted in the formation of "excentered" core-shell morphologies and lower polymerization rates. The paper identifies the parameters that allow to control particles morphology and polymerization kinetics and describes the mechanism of formation of the nanocomposite colloids.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: February 1, 2006
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