Microemulsion Polymerizations and Reactions
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This review describes how the unique nanostructures of water-in-oil (W/O), oil-in-water (O/W) and bicontinuous microemulsions have been used for the syntheses of some organic and inorganic nanomaterials. Polymer nanoparticles of diameter approximately 10–50 nm can easily be obtained, not only from the polymerization of monomers in all three types of microemulsions, but also from a Winsor I-like system. A Winsor I-like system with a semi-continuous process can be used to produce microlatexes with high weight ratios of polymer to surfactant (up to 25). On the other hand, to form inorganic nanoparticles, it is best to carry out the appropriate chemical reactions in W/O- and bicontinuous microemulsions.
Recent developments in the cross-polymerization of the organic components used in bicontinuous microemulsions ensure the successful formation of transparent nanostructured materials. Current research into using polymerizable bicontinuous microemulsions as a one-pot process for producing functional membranes and inorganic/polymer nanocomposites is highlighted with examples.
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