New Nucleation in Emulsion Polymerisation

Trying to grow large particle by emulsion polymerisation can be quite difficult... I know.

A model was developed for the homogeneous nucleation process, based on the Maxwell-Morrison model for the entry of oligomeric radicals into latex particles. For more details on the model, please consult Chapter 4 of my Honours thesis.

The results of the models were analysed using the AVS visualisation software suit (more details below).

The catastrophe surface for the occurence of significant new nucleation is shown below. Above the surface, the polymerisation proceeds successfully (less than 1 in 100 new nucleation). Below the surface, there are significant amounts of new nucleation [1] .

Contour plot of surface
3D plot of surface

The actual visualisation network used is shown here:

Visualisation network for 3D plot Visualisation network for contour plot Visualisation network for surface and grid greate grid on surface with colour


  1. Maximum achievable particle size in emulsion polymerization: modeling of large particle sizes. SW Prescott, CM Fellows and RG Gilbert. Macromolecular Theory and Simulations, 11, 163–170, 2002.

Last edited: Tuesday September 9, 2008

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