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Nucleation of Polystyrene Latex Particles in the Presence of γ-Methacryloxypropyltrimethoxysilane: Functionalized Silica Particles

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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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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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