What is it about?

Styrene as a monomer was emulsified in water using several magnetite nanoparticles concentration and pH values. Emulsified styrene drops were used as templates for polymerization, in presence of water soluble free radical initiator, and formation of composite particles. Styrene template drops stabilization was verified by light as well as scanning electron microscopy imaging, which ensured the participation of the particles in building up a mechanical barrier to stop oil drops coalescence. Furthermore, the produced polystyrene composites were strongly attracted to an external magnet. The difference in particles size as a function of pH was elucidated using zeta potential measurements, which indicated dominance of pH on the hydrophilicity of the particles and consequently the extent of emulsification, which in turn affected the size of the obtained microspheres. Under some circumstances, capsules were formed instead of particles. Thereby, it can be concluded that the magnetic microspheres are optimally formed at pH 2.3 independently of the magnetite content used.

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Why is it important?

The current work is a continuation to these efforts to fabricate magnetic particles-stabilized o/w emulsions of styrene monomer in water whilst a subsequent polymerization was conducted at different pH values to explore its effect on the stability, size and film forming features of the resulting latexes. The main motivation beyond this is that nanoparticles are known to acquire different hydrophilicities and wetting states while varying the pH as a result of the development of surface charges of varying densities on the surface. Thus, the emulsification of the oil (monomer) into the aqueous phase is expected to be undertaken to different extents, which will be investigated in the current study.


Writing this article was a great pleasure as it has co-authors with whom I have had long standing collaborations.

Dr. Ahmed I. A. Abd El-Mageed
Minia University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Effect of pH and zeta potential of Pickering stabilizing magnetite nanoparticles on the features of magnetized polystyrene microspheres, Polymer Engineering & Science, November 2020, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/pen.25571.
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