JOURNAL OF COLLOID AND INTERFACE SCIENCE, vol.250, no.2, pp.471-477, 2002 (SCI-Expanded)
The UV-visible (UVV) technique was used to monitor latex film formation in a soft polymer matrix. Various film samples were prepared by increasing the amount of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) particles in a poly(isobutylene) (PIB) matrix. These samples were then annealed above the glass transition temperature to promote latex film formation. Transmitted photon intensities, I-tr, were measured for each film. It is observed that I-tr, decrease as the latex content is increased, which was explained by the increase in scattered light intensity, I-sc. The drastic increase in I-sc above a certain latex content is attributed to the site percolation of latex particles in the PIB matrix. The percolation threshold and the critical exponent were measured and found to be 0.3 and 0.4, respectively. The increase in I-tr by annealing of film samples above T-g was explained with the void closure process below 0.8 occupation probability. When the film is occupied completely with the latex particles, interdiffusion of polymer chains was observed. Viscous flow and chain diffusion activation energies were determined and found to be 8 and 51 kcal/mol, respectively. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).