Investigation of the Adsorption of Amphipathic macroRAFT Agents onto Montmorillonite Clay


Recently, there has been significant interest in the use of the reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) technique to generate a variety of organic/inorganic colloidal composite particles in aqueous dispersed media using the so-called macroRAFT-assisted encapsulating emulsion polymerization (REEP) strategy. In this process, special attention should be paid to the adsorption of the macro molecular RAFT (macroRAFT) agent onto the inorganic particles, as it determines the final particle morphology and can also influence latex stability. In this work, different amphipathic macroRAFT agents were synthesized by RAFT, and their adsorption onto commercial Montmorillonite clay Cloisite Na+ (MMT) was studied by means of adsorption isotherms. Three types of macroRAFT agents were considered: a nonionic one based on poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether acrylate (PEGA) and n-butyl acrylate (BA), anionic ones, including a block copolymer and random copolymers, based on acrylic acid (AA), BA and PEGA, and cationic ones based on 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA), BA and PEGA. Six adsorption isotherm models (Langmuir, Freundlich, Tempkin, Redlich-Peterson, Sips, and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller) were adjusted to the, experimental isotherms. The nonionic macroRAFT agent formed a monolayer on the clay surface with a maximum adsorption capacity of 400 mg g(-1) at pH 8, as determined from the Sips adsorption model. Adsorption of the AA-based macroRAFT agents onto MMT was moderate at alkaline pH due to electrostatic repulsions, but increased with decreasing pH. The DMAEMA-based macroRAFT agents displayed a much stronger interaction with the oppositely charged MMT surface at acidic pH due to electrostatic interactions, and the concentration of adsorbed macroRAFT agent reached values as high as 800 mg g(-1). The BET model fitted the experimental data relatively well indicating multilayer adsorption promoted by the presence of the hydrophobic BA units. In addition, the cationic macroRAFT agents afforded stable MMT/macroRAFT agent complexes as evaluated by dynamic light scattering and zeta potential analyses.



subject category

Chemistry; Materials Science


Silva, RD; Monteiro, IS; Chaparro, TD; Hardt, RS; Giudici, R; Barros-Timmons, A; Bourgeat-Lami, E; dos Santos, AM

our authors


This work was developed in the scope of the ENCIRCLE (Polymer-encapsulation of anisotropic inorganic particles by RAFT-mediated emulsion polymerization) project enabled by IUPAC. The authors acknowledge FAPESP (Brazil) (grant #2010/50383-5 and grant #2011/20533-8), CNRS (France), and FCT/MEC (Portugal) funding agencies for financial support.

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