Polystyrene-grafted silica nanoparticles have been synthesised without using a free initiator by a team of French scientists.
The masses of the grafted chains could be controlled, thus controlling the polymerisation and colloidal stability. This new method avoids the formation of free polymer chains through the use of free nitroxide in the polymerisation step and could find many potential applications in, for example, the field of nanocomposites.
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Chloé Chevigny, Didier Gigmes, Denis Bertin, Ralf Schweins, Jacques Jestin and François Boué, Polym. Chem., 2011, DOI: 10.1039/C0PY00271B (Advance Article)