Starch nanoparticles modified with styrene oxide and their use as Pickering stabilizers†
Modification of starch nanoparticles (SNP) was conducted with styrene oxide (STO) to change their hydrophilic/hydrophobic character. Unmodified SNP and modified SNP-STO were investigated as Pickering stabilizers in miniemulsion polymerization and emulsion polymerization. The influence of varying the degree of substitution (DS) was explored in terms of interfacial activity with saturated analogues of the monomers used to prepare the miniemulsions. Pickering miniemulsion stability tests conducted with styrene, methyl methacrylate and butyl acrylate showed no apparent coalescence when using SNP-STO (DS 0.10). Pickering miniemulsion polymerization results (using the oil-soluble Vazo-52 initiator) suggest a synergistic stabilization effect between styrene and SNP-STO due to interactions between the aromatic rings present on both styrene and modified SNP-STO. Pickering emulsion polymerizations prepared using persulfate initiator and SNP-STO exhibited additional colloidal stability compared to the miniemulsions, likely provided by the persulfate anions.