Controlled free radical polymerization in miniemulsion using Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer (RAFT)

Vosloo, Johannes Jacobus (2001-12)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A novel approach to conducting controlled free radical polymerization in aqueous systems using Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer (RAFT) has been studied. When conducting RAFT in aqueous systems, reaction conditions must be chosen such that monomer transport across the aqueous-phase is either eliminated or facilitated. This is to prevent the formation of the red layer associated with RAFT in emulsions. The formation of the red layer is ascribed to the inability of waterinsoluble, dithiobenzoate-endcapped oligomers to be sufficiently transported across the aqueous phase. The novel approach in this study focussed on eliminating monomer transport and comprises two fundamental steps: the synthesis of dithiobenzoate-encapped oligomers in bulk followed by miniemulsification of these oligomers to yield a polymerizable miniemulsion. Dithioesters that act as chain transfer agents in the RAFT -process were synthesized in situ, thereby eliminating laborious and time-consuming organic purification procedures of dithioesters. In situ formation of the RAFT-agents involved conducting the reaction between di(thiobenzoyl) disulfide and conventional azo-initiators of differing structures in the presence of monomer. The structure of the chosen azo-initiator played a role in the efficiency of the RAFT process when the reaction was conducted in the presence of monomer to control the free radical polymerization process. Synthesis of the oligomers was performed by heating di(thiobenzoyl) disulfide and a selected azo-initiator, in the presence of monomer for a specific reaction duration in bulk. After the reaction was stopped, these oligomers were then miniemulsified by adding water, surfactant and cosurfactant, followed by the application of shear to form the resulting mini emulsion. The free radical polymerization of the dithiobenzoate-endcapped oligomers in the miniemulsion proceeded in a controlled manner with molecular weight increasing in a linear fashion with increasing conversion, while polydispersities remained low. The familiar red layer formation associated with RAFT polymerization in conventional emulsions was not observed under these conditions. The effects of changing the cosurfactant (hydrophobe) as well as changing the degree of polymerization of the emulsified oligomers were also investigated and described.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie is geloods om 'n nuwe benadering tot die beheerde vry-radikaal polimerisasie in water gebaseerde sisteme te ondersoek. Daar is spesifiek gekyk na die uitvoer van die RAFT (Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer) proses in emulsies. Wanneer RAFT in emulsies toegepas word, moet die toestande waaronder die reaksie uitgevoer word, versigtig opgestel word. Die toestande moet so gekies word dat die vervoer van monomere deur die waterfase óf geëlimineer word óf gefasiliteer word. Dit word gedoen om die faseskeiding in die vorm van 'n rooi laag, wat so kenmerkend van RAFT -polimerisasie in emulsies is, te voorkom. Hierdie faseskeiding vind plaas omdat die vervoer van ditiobensoaat endgroep-bevattende oligomere deur die waterfase tydens interval II, moeilik is a.g.v. hulle oplosbaarheid in water. Die nuwe benadering wat hier bestudeer is, het twee basiese stappe. Eerstens word die ditiobensoaat endgroep-bevattende oligomere in bulk gesintetiseer. Dit word gevolg deur die emulsifisering van die oligomere. Hierna vind verdere polimerisasie van die oligomere plaas deur die dormante oligomere te heraktiveer. Die ditio-esters wat as kettingoordrag agente optree in die RAFT proses, word in situ gesintetiseer. Hierdie modifikasie sny tydrowende organiese suiweringsmetodes uit. Die in situ RAFT agente word gesintetiseer deur di(tiobensoïel) disulfied met verskillende konvensionele azo-inisieerders te laat reageer. Die struktuur van die spesifieke azoinisieerder het wel 'n rol gespeel in die effektiwiteit van die RAFT proses om molekulêre massa te beheer as bg. reaksie in die teenwoordigheid van monomere uitgevoer is. Die sintese van die oligomere is gedoen deur di(tiobensoïel) en 'n azo-inisieerder te verhit in die teenwoordigheid van monomere. Die reaksie is gedoen in bulk en die graad van polimerisasie van die oligomere is beheer deur die reaksie te stop by verskillende tydstippe. Nadat die bulk reaksie gestop is, is hierdie oligomere ge-emulsifiseer deur die oligomere te meng met 'n seep, hidrofoob en water. Hierdie mengsel word dan onderwerp aan 'n vermengingskrag om 'n polimeriseerbare mini-emulsie te vorm. Die voortsetting van die polimerisasie van die oligomere in die mini-emulsie het op 'n beheerde wyse verloop, m.a.w. molekulêre massa wat linieêr toeneem met stygende omsetting. Polidispersiteit indekse van die polimere het deurentyd laag gebly in die stabielste sisteme. Onder hierdie toestande was daar geen kenmerkende rooi laagvorming te bespeur nie. Die effekte wat die verandering van die hidrofoob, asook die verandering van die graad van polimerisasie van die oligomere op die sisteem gehad het, is onder andere ook ondersoek en beskryf.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52174
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