Hydrophobic Core/Hydrophilic Shell Amphiphilic Particles

Authored by: Yang Yun , 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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Amphiphilic colloidal particles with hydrophobic cores and hydrophilic shells were prepared via a two-step method. First, polystyrene cores were obtained through the concentrated emulsion polymerization. A mixture of styrene, ethyl benzene, divinyl benzene, azobisisobutyronitrile, and cumene hydroperoxide (CHPO) was partially polymerized at 80°C for 40 min and subsequently used as the dispersed phase of a concentrated emulsion in water. The concentrated emulsion was subjected to complete polymerization at 60°C for 12 h; colloidal particles of crosslinked polystyrene were thus obtained. In the second step, the polystyrene particles were dispersed in water, after which acrylamide, N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide, and ferrous sulfate (FS) were added. The system was heated (typically at 30°C) to conduct the polymerization of the hydrophilic monomers. The CHPO present on the surface of the polystyrene particles and the FS present in the aqueous phase (both together constitute a redox initiator) ensured that the initiation occurred mostly on the surface of the particles and that the hydrophilic polymer obtained formed a shell encapsulating the particles. Under proper conditions, a porous outer shell could be generated, making the hydrophobic core accessible to the outside medium.

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