Zero-valent iron (Fe(0)) mediated RAFT miniemulsion polymerization: a facile approach for the fabrication of Fe(0)-encapsulated polymeric nanoparticles†
We report a facile approach for the fabrication of Fe(0)-encapsulated nanoparticles via Fe(0)-mediated RAFT miniemulsion polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA). The polymerization demonstrated good control/livingness: linear kinetic plots, linear increased molecular weights, narrow molecular weight distributions and high chain end fidelity as characterized by size exclusion chromatography, NMR and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Crosslinked uniform PMMA nanoparticles (about 130 nm of diameter) with encapsulated Fe(0) were obtained and fully characterized by transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering measurements. This work provides a facile and alternative approach for the fabrication of magnetic polymeric nanoparticles.