Preparation and Properties of Cross-Linked Fluorescent Poly(methyl Methacrylate) Latex Colloids

Langmuir. 2004 Feb 3;20(3):658-64. doi: 10.1021/la035729a.

Abstract

We report a single step preparation of monodisperse fluorescent poly(methyl)methacrylate (PMMA) lattices cross-linked with ethylene glycol dimethacrylate with radii in the range 150-1000 nm using dispersion polymerization. The particles are applied as fluorescent cores in core-shell PMMA particles for confocal microscopy (Dullens et al. Langmuir 2003, 19, 5963). Contrary to un-cross-linked particles, these cross-linked colloids are stable in good solvents for PMMA as well. Therefore we studied the properties of the cross-linked PMMA particles in the good solvents tetrahydrofuran (THF), chloroform, and toluene using light scattering and confocal scanning laser microscopy. We show that the particles swell instantaneously and that their volume can increase up to more than seven times their volume in poor solvents. Further, it is very likely that the particles are charged in THF.