PS/CTAB/silica composites from room temperature polymerization of high internal phase emulsion gels

Tan Zhang, Gu Xu, Zhe Fei Li, Oren Regev, Madhubhashini Maddumaarachchi, Frank D. Blum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Polystyrene (PS)/cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)/silica composites were prepared by CTAB-catalyzed in-situ polymerization of high internal phase emulsion gels (HIPE gels) at room temperature. The room temperature approach in HIPE gels yielded mono-dispersed PS/CTAB/silica spherical composite particles with sizes of 121 and 155nm. The complex microscopic internal structures of these particles were determined with the use of temperature-modulated differential scanning calorimetry (TMDSC). CTAB, in particular, was identified in different environments within the composite particles based on its different crystallization temperatures observed on cooling: a thin layer at the surface of the fumed silica (TC,CTAB=74°C), multilayers (TC,CTAB=82°C), and a mixed PS/CTAB shell (TC,CTAB=65°C). The amounts of each component were estimated from the enthalpies of the crystallization. The PS/CTAB mixed shell contained CTAB on the surface of the particle plus internal CTAB domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide
  • Differential scanning calorimetry
  • Free radical polymerization
  • High internal phase emulsion gels
  • Polymeric composite nanoparticles
  • Surfactant catalysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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