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Adsorption of Sterically Stabilized Latex Particles at Liquid Surfaces: Effects of Steric Stabilizer Surface Coverage, Particle Size, and Chain Length on Particle Wettability

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journal contribution
posted on 08.05.2012, 00:00 by K. M. Reed, J. Borovicka, T. S. Horozov, V. N. Paunov, K. L. Thompson, A. Walsh, S. P. Armes
A series of five near-monodisperse sterically stabilized polystyrene (PS) latexes were synthesized using three well-defined poly­(glycerol monomethacrylate) (PGMA) macromonomers with mean degrees of polymerization (DP) of 30, 50, or 70. The surface coverage and grafting density of the PGMA chains on the particle surface were determined using XPS and 1H NMR spectroscopy, respectively. The wettability of individual latex particles adsorbed at the air–water and n-dodecane–water interfaces was studied using both the gel trapping technique and the film calliper method. The particle equilibrium contact angle at both interfaces is relatively insensitive to the mean DP of the PGMA stabilizer chains. For a fixed stabilizer DP of 30, particle contact angles were only weakly dependent on the particle size. The results are consistent with a model of compact hydrated layers of PGMA stabilizer chains at the particle surface over a wide range of grafting densities. Our approach could be utilized for studying the adsorption behavior of a broader range of sterically stabilized inorganic and polymeric particles of practical importance.