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Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids

Revisiting the synthesis of a well-known comb-graft copolymer stabilizer and its application to the dispersion polymerization of poly(methyl methacrylate) in organic media.


PMID 21053983

Abstract

Polymeric stabilizers are an essential ingredient for the dispersion polymerization of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) in nonpolar media. In this contribution, we focus on the synthesis of an amphipathic copolymer consisting of pendant poly(12-hydroxystearic acid) (PHS) chains grafted to an insoluble PMMA backbone. This type of steric stabilizer is well established and capable of producing spherically shaped, monodisperse PMMA colloids. Unfortunately, the comb-graft copolymer is not available commercially; furthermore, the multistep synthesis of the desired stabilizer has proven challenging to reproduce. We discuss the practical matter of preparing PHS-graft-PMMA, and report specific techniques developed over several years in our lab. Gel permeation chromatography, mass spectroscopy, and end group analysis of the stabilizer and the precursor macromonomer reveal important, previously unreported details about the chemical synthesis. Our protocol is reproducible and resulted in the production of low polydispersity PMMA particles.

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H7002
Methyl 12-hydroxystearate, ≥99% (GC)
C19H38O3