Synthesis of Polystyrene/Poly[2-(Dimethylamino)ethyl Methacrylate- s tat -Ethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate] Core−Shell Latex Particles by Seeded Emulsion Polymerization and Their Application as Stimulus-Responsive Particulate Emulsifiers for Oil-in-Water Emulsions
Surfactant-stabilized polystyrene (PS) latex particles with a mean hydrodynamic diameter of 155 nm were prepared by aqueous emulsion polymerization using 2,2'-azobis(2-amidinopropane) hydrochloride as a cationic radical initiator. Seeded aqueous emulsion copolymerizations of 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (DMA) and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) were conducted in the presence of these PS particles to produce two batches of colloidally stable core-shell latex particles, in which the shell comprised a cross-linked P(DMA-stat-EGDMA) overlayer. Both the PS and PS/P(DMA-stat-EGDMA) latexes were characterized in terms of their particle size, morphology, and composition using dynamic light scattering, electron microscopy, and FT-IR spectroscopy, respectively. Using the PS/P(DMA-stat-EGDMA) latex particles as a pH-responsive particulate ('Pickering'-type) emulsifier, polydisperse n-dodecane-in-water emulsions were prepared at pH 8 that could be partially broken (demulsified) on lowering the solution pH to 3. These emulsions were characterized in terms of their emulsion type, mean droplet diameter, and morphology using electrical conductivity and Mastersizer measurements, optical microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy (using critical point drying for sample preparation).