Pickering Emulsion Templated Interfacial Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization for Microencapsulation

This Article describes a new microencapsulation method based on a Pickering emulsion templated interfacial atom transfer radical polymerization (PETI-ATRP). Cationic LUDOX CL nanoparticles were coated electrostatically with an anionic polymeric ATRP initiator, poly(sodium styrene sulfonate-co-2-(2-bromoisobutyryloxy)ethyl methacrylate) (PSB), prepared by radical copolymerization of sodium styrene sulfonate and 2-(2-bromoisobutyryloxy)ethyl methacrylate (BIEM). The resulting PSB-modified CL particles were surface active and could be used to stabilize oil-in-water Pickering emulsions. ATRP of water-soluble cross-linking monomers, confined to the oil−water interface by the surface-bound PSB, then led to nanoparticle/polymer composite shells. This method allowed encapsulation of core solvents (xylene, hexadecane, perfluoroheptane) with different solubility parameters. The microcapsule (MC) wall chemistry could accommodate different monomers, demonstrating the versatility of this method. Double-walled MCs were formed by sequentially carrying out PETI-ATRP and in situ polymerization of encapsulated monomers. The double-walled structure was verified by both transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM).