The influence of butyl acrylate (BA) and methyl methacrylate (MMA) on hydroxyl functionalized latexes was investigated. The hydrophobicity of the monomer feed was varied via the BA/MMA ratio. In addition to monitoring the effect of hydrophobic monomer feed on secondary nucleation, the polymerization kinetics and final latex properties were also obtained for comparison. Five different BA to MMA molar ratios were combined with five 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) concentrations (0, 10, 20, 30 and 40 mol% in monomer composition). All latexes were synthesized through seeded semibatch emulsion polymerization process. Particle size distributions and average particle sizes of the latexes were determined by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and qualitatively compared with transmission electron microscope (TEM) images. The BA to MMA ratio significantly influences the boundary HEMA concentration at which homogeneous secondary nucleation occurs.

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© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 2017, 55, 2190–2202