A surprisingly gentle approach to cavity containing spherocylindrical microparticles from ordinary polymer dispersions in flow†
Herein, we demonstrate a facile approach to fully transform spherical polymeric microparticles to elongated spherocylinders containing an internal cavity under ambient and mild stirring conditions. Critical to the process is to deform the amorphous and non-crosslinked particles under glassy conditions for an unusually long time; 120 hours for the poly(styrene-co-glycidyl methacrylate) microparticles discussed in greatest detail. Larger particles in the 5 micron and greater range were markedly more susceptible to the shear imposed by stirring the aqueous dispersion. The resulting morphology is robust and kinetically frozen yet reverts to the original spherical shape if annealed above the glass transition temperature with suitable temperature or plasticizer. The volume fraction of the internal void can be modulated by particle composition and process conditions and is irregular in shape we believe as a result of a cavitation event during plastic deformation.