Microemulsion polymerization: 1. Small-angle neutron scattering study of monomer partitioning

Carlos C. Co, Renko De Vries, Eric W. Kaler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


To achieve a better understanding of the kinetics of microemulsion polymerization, we have examined monomer partitioning between micelles and polymer particles during polymerization of aqueous microemulsions of dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide surfactant and styrene, n-butyl methacrylate, tert-butyl methacrylate, and n-hexyl methacrylate monomers. Polymerizing microemulsions are simulated by equilibrium mixtures of unpolymerized and fully polymerized microemulsions for which the monomer partitioning is accurately measured using small-angle neutron scattering. Experimental results are semiquantitatively reproduced by modeling the monomer partitioning as a competition between the Flory-Huggins bulk polymer free energy and the Helfrich curvature elastic energy of the surfactant monolayers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3224-3232
Number of pages9
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 8 2001


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