The use of selected acrylate and acrylamide-based surfmers and polysoaps in the emulsion polymerization of styrene
Polymerizable surfactants (surfmers) 12-acryloyloxy-dodecanoic acid and 11-acrylamidoundecanoic acid and their respective sodium salts were prepared and then polymerized to form their corresponding oligomers using reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT). Different concentrations of both the surfmers, their sodium salts, and their RAFT oligomers were used as polysoaps in the emulsion polymerization of styrene. Stabilities of the pre-emulsions before polymerization were determined and compared. After polymerization, particle sizes and polydispersities of the resulting polystyrene latices were determined. Sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) was used as a reference surfactant to compare the particle sizes and stabilities of the pre-emulsions prepared using surfmers and polymeric surfactants (polysoaps) as particle stabilizers. Emulsion polymerization of styrene using these surfmers and polysoaps all led to latices which were stable for a period of more than six months, as indicated by constant particle sizes, whereas latices prepared using the conventional surfactant, SDS, were not as stable.