Visible-light induced emulsion photopolymerization with carbon nitride as a stabilizer and photoinitiator†
Photopolymerization is a common method in the synthesis of polymers with various applications. Herein, a simple and effective route for surfactant-free emulsion photopolymerization (EPP) under visible light irradiation is described. Therein, graphitic carbon nitride (g-CN) was utilized as an stabilizer and a photoinitiator at the same time. As such, g-CN provides the starting point for polymer chain growth and particle formation. Notably, the as-prepared polymer latexes are directly crosslinked by g-CN, and the existence of g-CN is confirmed inside of the particle, as well as outside, where it forms relatively stable latexes. Moreover, surface functionalized g-CN was utilized to tailor the g-CN/monomer interactions for improved particle formation. g-CN quantum dots with enhanced photoluminescence properties were introduced in EPP as well, providing polymer latexes with enhanced photoluminescence. The obtained polymer nanoparticles might be promising candidates for bioimaging applications.