Poly(styrene-co-acrylic acid) (St/AA) latices were prepared by using a batch soap-free emulsion copolymerisation in non-buffered medium. Polymerisation kinetics, followed by gravimetric method, revealed that increasing AA comonomer concentration was directly proportional to the copolymerisation rate, while adding AA comonomer caused a strong decrease of particle size of final St/AA latex particle without affecting the size distribution. Transmission electron microscopy indicated that the particles were monodispersed and spherical in shape irrespective of AA amount used in the investigated range. The colloidal stability of the latices was increased upon increasing the AA concentration; owing to the electrosteric stabilisation originated from AA-rich layer on the particle surface. In addition, electrophoretic mobility of formed particles versus polymerisation conversion exhibited the constancy of the surface charge density during the polymerisation process and was inferred for discussion of the polymerisation mechanism of this system.
Carboxylated latexSurfactant-free emulsion polymerisationParticle size and morphologyColloidal stabilityElectrokinetic properties