Water-based polymer latexes have attracted much attention since their invention in the early 1950s. Its advantages for both general health and the environment were recognized as they emit far less volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than their solvent-based counterparts.
The performance of latex paints and coatings is directly proportional to the ease of particle deformation. This is the main driving force for the paints and coatings industry to focus its research efforts towards understanding its mechanism.
In contrast, little has been published with respect to enhancing latex's resistance against deformation despite such needs in applications such as templating porous ceramics for catalysis and biomaterial engineering. Specifically, the latex's resistance to deformation is crucial to retain a network of uniform pores for applications relating to enzyme immobilization and materials reinforcement.
The current study reports increased heat-resistance observed in latexes when synthesized using a rigid surfactant, dimethyl siloxane – ethylene oxide block copolymer (PDMS-PEO). The film formation process for this latex was deduced using atomic force microscopy and subsequent roughness analysis. A comparative study using a non-ionic long-chain hydrocarbon surfactant, morpholine oleate, was also conducted.