Amphiphilic Particles with Hydrophilic Core/Hydrophobic Shell Prepared via Inverted Emulsions

Authored by: Hangquan Li , Eli Ruckenstein

Concentrated Emulsion Polymerization

Print publication date:  April  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367134556
eBook ISBN: 9780429026577
Adobe ISBN:


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An aqueous solution of acrylamide, its crosslinker (N, N′-methylenebisacrylamide), and an oxidant (ammonium persulfate) was first used to prepare an inverted concentrated emulsion in hexane. Span 80, which is soluble in hexane, was employed as a dispersant. The polymerization of acrylamide in the concentrated emulsion was greatly accelerated by introducing an aqueous solution of a reductant (sodium metabisulfite); it started at room temperature and was completed in a few seconds, resulting in a pastelike product. The system thus obtained was subsequently diluted with hexane containing a hydrophobic monomer. When styrene was used as the hydrophobic monomer, cumene hydroperoxide (which, together with sodium metabisulfite present in the dispersed phase, constitutes the initiator for the polymerization of styrene) was dissolved in the continuous phase. When vinylidene chloride was employed as the hydrophobic monomer, no additional initiator besides sodium metabisulfite and ammonium persulfate already present in the hydrophilic phase had to be employed. The use of initiators which are present only in the hydrophilic phase, and hence also at the interface between this phase and hexane, ensured the polymerization of the hydrophobic monomer as shells that encapsulate the polyacrylamide latexes. Under the proper conditions, a porous outer shell can be generated, which makes the hydrophilic chains present inside accessible. Such hydrophilic core/hydrophobic porous shell particles can be dispersed in water, where they remain stable for a long time, and in hydrophobic liquids, where they remain stable for at least 24 h. For this reason, we call these kinds of particles amphiphilic particles. © 1996 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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