Latex nanocomposites with encapsulated inorganic particles have wide ranging applications as paints, cosmetics, antibacterial agents, etc. In this work, we report the encapsulation of titanium dioxide nanoparticles into a polymer latex, achieved by dispersing the inorganic particles first in the aqueous phase under acidic conditions, followed by miniemulsion polymerization. This method avoids environmental issues associated with the conventional approach of dispersing the inorganic particles in the monomer phase and also results in higher encapsulation efficiency. We have used it to successfully encapsulate titanium dioxide nanoparticles into poly (styrene-co-butyl acrylate-co-acrylic acid) latex particles. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) imaging combined with cryo-Scanning electron microscope (cryo-SEM) imaging provides evidence for the complete encapsulation of titanium dioxide particles inside the polymer particles. The amount of encapsulated titanium dioxide is obtained using muffle furnace and thermogravimetric analysis and shows good encapsulation efficiency.
Volume 111, October 2017, Pages 93–98