Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry, Vol.39, No.19, 3356-3364, 2001
Ultrasonically initiated emulsion polymerization of methyl methacrylate
The ultrasonically initiated emulsion polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) was investigated. Experimental results show that sodium dodecyl sulfonate (SDS) surfactant plays a very important role in obtaining a high polymer yield, because in the absence of SDS, monomer conversion is near zero. Thus, the surfactant serves as an initiator and as interfacial modifier in this system (MMA/H2O), and the monomer conversion increases significantly with increasing SDS concentration. An increase in the reactor temperature also leads to an increase in the monomer conversion. An appropriate increase in the N-2 purging rate also leads to higher conversion. The conversion of MMA decreases with increasing monomer concentration because of the higher viscosity of the system. With the experimental results, optimized reaction conditions were obtained. Accordingly, a high monomer conversion of about 67% and a high molecular weight of several millions can be obtained in a period of about 30 min. Furthermore, transmission electron micrographs show that the latex particles prepared are nanosized, indicating a promising technique for preparing nanoscale latex particles with a small amount of surfactant. In conclusion, a promising technique for ultrasonically initiated emulsion polymerization has been successfully performed.