Synthesis of Surfactant-Free Carbon Nanotube/ Poly(styrene-co-acrylamide) by Dynamic Interfacial Emulsion Polymerization under Sonication, Polymers for Advanced Technologies, 25 (1), 4-8, (2014).

This paper describes a study on emulsifier-free ultrasonically assisted in-situ copolymerization method of acrylamide and styrene in the presence of CNT, resulting in stable and uniform dispersions. The dispersions prepared were found stable for several months. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) curves and conversion measurements provided an insight regarding the polymerization mechanism and the nanocomposites structure. Films prepared of the polymerization products resulted in some clear and transparent coatings. The polymerization method described is simple and very fast compared with the other literature reported methods. TGA was extensively used as an analytical tool for determination of the composition of acrylamide–styrene copolymers. TGA and differential scanning calorimetry indicate that the polymerization product is largely a poly(styrene-co-acrylamide), where the acrylamide fraction is attached to the CNT surfaces. The copolymer produced, with and without CNT, is essentially a block copolymer, where each block contains small amounts of the other comonomer. To the authors’ best knowledge, this report is the first one describing the production of stable dispersions of CNT in surfactant-free poly(styrene-co-acrylamide) emulsion.

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