Nanoparticles from a controlled polymerization process

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2003


Department of Chemical Engineering


Free-radical retrograde precipitation polymerization process in the past has shown excellent control characteristics over reaction rate, molecular weight, and in the entrapment of live radicals for the generation of block copolymers. The same principle has now been extended to study the reaction confinement to a nanoscale region. Nanosized polymer particles have been reported to form from block copolymers, conventional precipitation polymerization methods, or through emulsion polymerization approaches. In this work, we present a new method of generating nanosized polymer particles by polymerizing the monomer in an environment that precipitates the polymer above the lower critical solution temperature. The nanoparticles have been characterized by both tapping-mode atomic force microscopy observations and in situ synchrotron time-resolved small-angle X-ray scattering analysis. The results from both the techniques showed the formation of nanoparticles in the size range of 15-30 nm, directly from the polymerization process.

Publication Title

Advances in Polymer Technology