Surfactant-free emulsion copolymerization of styrene and a cationic comonomer with two positively charged groups

  • Hua ZouEmail author
  • Jing Liu
  • Xia Wang
Original Contribution


Near-monodisperse, stabilized latex particles were prepared by surfactant-free emulsion copolymerization of styrene with a water-soluble cationic comonomer StMV having two positively charged groups. Unlike previously reported surfactant-free emulsion copolymerization systems, very small polymer nanoparticles (≤ 70 nm as indicated by transmission electron microscopy studies) were produced even though the StMV/St molar ratio was no more than 1/100. The effects of initiator concentration, StMV concentration, and styrene concentration on the size of the latex particles were investigated. The polymerization kinetics was monitored by transmission electron microscopy, monomer conversion, dynamic light scattering, and visual inspection. This study is expected to enrich the surfactant-free syntheses of cationic polystyrene latex and can provide useful information to construct cucurbit[n]uril-based supramolecular polymer colloids.

Graphical abstract


Surfactant-free emulsion copolymerization Cationic comonomer Nanoparticles Latex Positively charged 


Funding information

This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51503123), Program of Young Eastern Scholar from Shanghai Institutions of Higher Learning (QD2015014), and University of Shanghai for Science and Technology.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of Shanghai for Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina

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