Formation mechanism of micron-sized monodispersed polymer particles having a hollow structure
Recently, the authors reported that micron-sized monodispersed cross-linked polymer particles having a single hollow in the inside were produced by seeded polymerization for the dispersion of (toluene/divinylbenzene)-swollen polystyrene (PS) particles prepared utilizing the dynamic swelling method which the authors had proposed. In this article, the particles at various conversions of the seeded polymerization were observed with an optical microscope in detail. From the obtained results, the formation mechanism of the hollow structure is suggested as follows. As seeded polymerization proceeds, polydivinylbenzene (PDVB) molecules precipitated in the swollen particle are trapped near the interface and gradually pile at the inner surface, which results in a cross-linked PDVB shell. PS which dissolves in the swollen particles is repelled gradually to the inside. After the completion of the polymerization, toluene in the hollow evaporates by drying, and PS clings to the inner wall of the shell uniformly.