Synthesis of New Acrylate-based Nonionic Surfmers and their Use in Heterophase Polymerization

Lon J. Mathias, University of Southern Mississippi

Originally published in Macromolecules
Volume 40, Issue 25, 11 December 2007, Pages 8938-8946

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New acrylate-based nonionic reactive surfactants have been successfully designed, synthesized, and polymerized. Their homo- and copolymerization properties were studied, and while a low degree of homopolymerization was achieved, good copolymerization behavior with methyl methacrylate was observed. High solids content acrylic latexes were prepared using these new amphiphilic reactive molecules and were shown to have these reactive surfactants covalently incorporated. Well-defined latex particles with narrow particle size distributions were produced. Both scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques were used to confirm the size and size distribution of the particles formed. AFM measurements conducted on the films formed from these latexes demonstrated their low degree of water sensitivity. This seems to indicate a low level of surfactant migration during the film formation and that the surfmers have been successfully incorporated into the final copolymers produced via heterophase polymerizations. © 2007 American Chemical Society.