Controlled/living radical polymerization of isoprene and butadiene in emulsion

Gabriela Bar-Nes, Radford Hall, Vikashni Sharma, Marianne Gaborieau, David Lucas, Patrice Castignolles, Robert G. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


A process for RAFT-controlled radical polymerization in emulsion [36] has been applied to the polymerizations of isoprene and of butadiene in emulsion systems, with the goal of producing latex particles containing block copolymers of acrylic acid (stabilizer and starting polymer), styrene (second polymer) and isoprene or butadiene (third polymer). The microstructure of the polymer chains was examined using dual-detection size-exclusion chromatography, and the nanostructure of the materials was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance. Reactions were always slow (although faster than the corresponding processes in solution), and exhibited limited reinitiation by isoprene when in emulsion. The materials containing isoprene exhibit a nanostructure with a phase separation into high-Tg polystyrene-rich domains and low-Tg polyisoprene-rich domains, revealed by DSC and NMR. This has the potential to lead to barrier materials with novel physical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3149-3163
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Polymer Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Barrier products
  • Butadiene
  • Emulsion polymerization
  • Isoprene
  • Nanophase separation
  • RAFT


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