Fabrication of hierarchical microparticles by depositing the in situ synthesized surface nanoparticles on microspheres during the seed emulsion polymerization.
ABSTRACT A general strategy for the synthesis of polymeric hierarchical microparticles containing surface nanoparticles through modified seed emulsion polymerization is proposed. This modified seed emulsion polymerization has a character that suitable amount of monomer miniemulsion is added during the polymerization. The in situ synthesized surface nanoparticles which are resulted from the monomer miniemulsion as well as the shell-forming polymer coagulate on the seed particles and therefore hierarchical microparticles are fabricated. Various polymeric hierarchical microparticles containing 20-36 nm poly(styrene-co-acrylamide), poly(styrene-co-acrylic acid), and polystyrene surface nanoparticles are synthesized following the proposed method. The advantages in the present synthesis including both the well controls in the size, the composition, and the number of the surface nanoparticles and the convenience are demonstrated. The proposed strategy is anticipated to be a general method to fabricate hierarchical microparticles and is believed to have promising application in particle surface modification.