Comparative study of classical surfactants and polymerizable surfactants (surfmers) in the reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer mediated miniemulsion polymerization of styrene and methyl methacrylate
Cationic and anionic amphiphilic monomers (surfmers) were synthesized and used to stabilize particles in miniemulsion polymerization. A comparative study of classical cationic and anionic surfactants and the two surfmers was conducted with respect to the reaction rates and molecular weight distributions of the formed polymers. The reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer process was used in the miniemulsion polymerization reactions to control the molecular weight distribution. The reaction rates of the surfmer-stabilized miniemulsion polymerization of styrene and methyl methacrylate were similar (in most cases) to those of the classical-surfactant-stabilized miniemulsion polymerizations. The final particle sizes were also similar for polystyrene latexes stabilized by the surfmers and classical surfactants. However, poly(methyl methacrylate) latexes stabilized by the surfmers had larger particle sizes than latexes stabilized by classical surfactants. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.