Date of Award

Winter 2009

Project Type


Program or Major

Materials Science

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Donald Sundberg


In the field of aqueous based free radical emulsion polymerization, it has been a long-standing belief that a charged polymer chain end group will exclusively anchor to the surface of a polymer particle. This notion is not intuitive for all cases, particularly in the case of an inverted core-shell composite particle where second stage polymer resides within the interior and is surrounded by first stage polymer. This dissertation describes a plethora of polymerizations and subsequent characterization techniques used to determine the location of polymer chain end groups in a series of seeded batch and semi-batch emulsion polymerizations. The analytical results of major importance include transmission and scanning electron microscopy (TEM and SEM, respectively), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and persulfate end group titration. Collectively, they show strong evidence against the notion of chain end anchoring as a predominant occurance. Additionally, calculations of single polymer chain dimensions within a latex particle in conjunction with any driving forces for chain end anchoring provide further evidence to discredit anchoring as the sole explanation for polymer chain locales.