||January 1, 2006
Miniemulsions are oil-in-water emulsions prepared using a mixed emulsifier system consisting of an ionic surfactant and a costabilizer, which is either a fatty alcohol (such as cetyl alcohol) or a long chain alkane (such as hexadecane) using a high shear device. These emulsions are characterized by exceptional stability with droplet sizes ranging from 50 to 400 nm. Both “artificial” and “synthetic” latexes can be prepared through the use of miniemulsion technology. The former refers to latexes prepared by emulsifying polymer solutions with subsequent removal of the solvent, allowing the preparation of latexes of polymers which cannot be prepared by emulsion polymerization (e.g., epoxies or polyurethanes). The latter refers to latexes prepared by emulsion polymerization. The focus of this talk will be on the use of miniemulsion technology to prepare polymer colloids as well as a discussion of a number of applications of miniemulsion technology such as the encapsulation of inorganic pigments, the formation of hybrid composite polymers, and the preparation of nanosize particles.