, Volume 291, Issue 5, pp 1171-1180
Date: 14 Nov 2012

Thiol-terminated hydroxy-functional polymer as a transtab toward polymer latex particles

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Hydroxy-functional macrodisulfides have been synthesized by atom transfer radical polymerization of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate or 2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate in 2-propanol. Mean degrees of polymerization of the polymer chains beside the disulfide were fixed at 30, 60, and 90; since ATRP has reasonably good living character, the molecular weight distribution is relatively narrow. Furthermore, the macrodisulfides were reduced to synthesize corresponding thiol-terminated polymers with relatively narrow molecular weight distributions. 1H nuclear magnetic resonance and gel permeation chromatography were used to characterize the macrodisulfides and thiol-terminated polymers in terms of their chemical structure, molecular weight, and polydispersity, respectively. Dispersion polymerizations of styrene using the thiol-terminated hydroxy-functional polymers as a transtab (chain transfer agent + colloidal stabilizer) in ethanol resulted in colloidally stable submicrometer-sized polystyrene latex particles. Scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and elemental microanalysis were used to characterize the particles in terms of their morphologies, particle sizes and their distributions, and chemical compositions.