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Uncontrolled polymerization that occurred during photoinitiated RAFT dispersion polymerization of acrylic monomers promotes the formation of uniform raspberry-like polymer particles

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Abstract

In a typical reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT)-mediated dispersion polymerization, good RAFT control is usually inevitable. This characteristic leads to the formation of block copolymers with low dispersities and well-defined block copolymer nano-objects. In this study, a different type of RAFT-mediated dispersion polymerization of acrylic monomers based on poor RAFT control and photoinitiation is reported. Uniform raspberry-like polymer particles rather than well-defined block copolymer nano-objects were formed in the present case. Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) measurement indicated that a noticeable amount of uncontrolled polymers without RAFT groups was generated during the photoinitiated RAFT dispersion polymerization, promoting the formation of uniform raspberry-like polymer particles. By extracting samples at different time intervals, it was found that raspberry-like polymer particles were formed by the adhesion of small polymer particles to the surface of large smooth polymer particles. Controlled experiments demonstrated that both the use of a poly(diacetone acrylamide) (PDAAM)-based macro-RAFT agent and the use of an isobronyl acrylate (IBOA) core-forming monomer were critical for this unusual photoinitiated RAFT dispersion polymerization. We expect that this study will not only provide a facile method for the preparation of uniform raspberry-like polymer particles at high solid contents in a single step, but also provide more insights into the mechanism of photoinitiated RAFT-mediated dispersion polymerization.

Graphical abstract: Uncontrolled polymerization that occurred during photoinitiated RAFT dispersion polymerization of acrylic monomers promotes the formation of uniform raspberry-like polymer particles

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
09 May 2020
Accepted
08 Jun 2020
First published
17 Jun 2020

Polym. Chem., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Uncontrolled polymerization that occurred during photoinitiated RAFT dispersion polymerization of acrylic monomers promotes the formation of uniform raspberry-like polymer particles

R. Zeng, Y. Chen, L. Zhang and J. Tan, Polym. Chem., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0PY00678E

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