Investigation of the influence of the architectures of poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) polymers made via the reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer/macromolecular design via the interchange of xanthates mechanism on the stabilization of suspension polymerizations

T. L.Uyen Nguyen, Kayleene Eagles, Thomas P. Davis, Christopher Barner-Kowollik, Martina H. Stenzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


Linear, star, and block copolymers based on poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) (PVP) were synthesized with the macromolecular design via the interchange of xanthates (MADIX) process for use as potential stabilizers in suspension polymerization. The design of the leaving group of the dithioxanthate-based transfer agent was shown to be key to the successful preparation of well-defined PVP architectures. A linear correlation of the monomer conversion and molecular weight was found in the synthesis of star polymers, whereas the molecular weight distribution remained narrow (polydis-persity index < 1.3). Significant side reactions, which typically broaden the molecular weight distribution when R-designed MADIX agents are used, were absent. The living behavior of the PVP polymerization was furthermore confirmed via chain extension with vinyl acetate, which resulted in the formation of PVP-PVAc block copolymers [where PVAc is poly(vinyl acetate)]. The prepared polymers were used as stabilizers in suspension polymerization to prepare crosslinked poly(vinyl neodecanoate)/ ethylene glycol dimethacrylate microspheres. The ratio of the interfacial tension of the aqueous and monomer phases and the overall viscosity were found to have an effect on the diameter of the particles, with PVP star polymers as stabilizers resulting in smaller particles. A smaller interfacial tension, measured when star polymers and block copolymers were used, resulted in the appearance of smaller particles, probably because of more breakup events of the monomer droplets and the enhanced stabilization of the particle surface area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4372-4383
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Block copolymers
  • Poly(vinyl pyrrolidone)
  • Reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT)
  • Star polymers' suspension polymerization

Cite this