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HETEROGENEOUS POLYMERIZATION OF METHYL METHACRYLATE AT LOW TEMPERATURE IN DISPERSED SYSTEMS
CHOI, KYU YONG
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ABSTRACT Title of thesis HETEROGENEOUS POLYMERIZATION OF METHYL METHACRYLATE AT LOW TEMPERATURE IN DISPERSED SYSTEMS Laleh Emdadi, Master of Science, 2011 Directed by: Professor, Dr. Kyu Yong Choi, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department Dispersion polymerization is a unique method to prepare monodisperse polymer particles of 1-10 µm in a single step process. This process is usually carried out at high temperatures that are not cost effective and suitable for special applications such as encapsulation of bio materials. Production of uniform polymer particles at low temperatures via dispersion polymerization has not been studied widely yet. In this research, dispersion polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) in a nonpolar solvent, n-hexane, using N,N-dimethylaniline (DMA) and lauroyl peroxide (LPO) as redox initiators at low temperature has been studied. The evolutions of monomer conversion, polymer molecular weight distribution (MWD), and particle morphology were determined. Under specific reaction conditions, monodisperse micron-sized polymer particles were produced. The same technique was applied in the confined reaction space of a monomer droplet. Using this new process, called micro dispersive suspension polymerization, polymer particles with different internal morphologies produced with various potential applications.