Network structure of polystyrene microgels and dispersion mechanism in an organic solvent

Hidetoshi Oikawa, Masako Harasawa, Katsumichi Ono

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Polystyrene microgels (PSMG) were prepared by soap-free emulsion copolymerization of styrene and divinylbenzene (DVB), and then dispersed in tetrahydrofuran (THF). The apparent diffusion constant Dapp and the intrinsic viscosity [η] for PSMG were determined in THF. Dapp was measured with dynamic light scattering technique, and the hydrodynamic radius Rh of PSMG swollen in THF was estimated using the Stokes-Einstein relation. The slope of plots of Dapp vs. concentration of PSMG changed from positive to negative with decreasing DVB content. This result was interpreted by a core-shell type network structure of swollen PSMG. Formation of the network structure is also supported by the difference in reactivity ratio between styrene and DVB. The swelling ratio of PSMG, which was calculated from the ratio of Rh and the diameter of dried PSMG, showed maximum at intermediate DVB content, while [η] showed minimum around the similar DVB content. This behavior was ascribed to the aggregation of PSMG. The dispersion mechanism could be qualitatively explained by considering both steric and topological repulsive forces, to which the network structure of the core-shell type may contribute.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)146-150
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1993 Jan 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Materials Science(all)
    • Mechanical Engineering


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