Surfactant-enhanced Free Radical Polymerization of Styrene in Emulsion Gels
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.
G. Xu and F. D. Blum, "Surfactant-enhanced Free Radical Polymerization of Styrene in Emulsion Gels," Polymer, Elsevier, Jul 2008.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.polymer.2008.05.019
National Science Foundation (U.S.)
Article - Journal
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