Title

Surfactant-enhanced Free Radical Polymerization of Styrene in Emulsion Gels

Abstract

The presence of a surfactant (such as hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide, CTAB) enhanced the rate of polymerization of styrene in emulsion gels with and without silica. The emulsion gels consisted of styrene, azobisisobutyronitrile (AIBN), surfactant, water, and, in some cases, fumed silica. Polymerization of the emulsions was carried out at room temperature in one or several days depending on the composition of the emulsion. The conversion of monomer to polymer could exceed 90% in a couple of days. In contrast, very little polymerization occurred in the absence of surfactant. A simple model, incorporating a surfactant-initiator complex and standard free radical polymerization, successfully fits the experimental kinetics data. This analysis suggests that the initiator is complexed with approximately three surfactant molecules.

Department(s)

Chemistry

Sponsor(s)

National Science Foundation (U.S.)

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Citation

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 2008 Elsevier, All rights reserved.


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