High sulfur content polymer nanoparticles obtained from interfacial polymerization of sodium polysulfide and 1,2,3-trichloropropane in water

Jeewoo Lim, Unho Jung, Won Tae Joe, Eui Tae Kim, Dong-Chul Pyun, Kookheon Char

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Sulfur-rich materials have recently attracted keen interest for their potentials in optical, electrochemical, and pesticidal applications as well as their utility in dynamic covalent bond chemistry. Many sulfur-rich polymers, however, are insoluble and processing methods are therefore very limited. The synthesis and characterization of water-dispersible polymer nanoparticles (NPs) with the sulfur content exceeding 75% by weight, obtained from the interfacial polymerization between 1,2,3-trichloropropane and sodium polysulfide in water is reported here. The interfacial polymerization yields well-defined sulfur-rich NPs in the presence of surfactants, which are capable of serving a dual role as a phase transfer catalyst on top of emulsifiers. Such dual role allows for the control of the product NP size by varying its concentration. The surfactants can be easily removed by centrifugation and redispersion in water is also reported here. The resulting sulfur-rich NPs are characterized through elemental analysis, dynamic light scattering, ζ-potential measurements, and scanning electron microscopy. Polymer nanoparticles with a sulfur content exceeding 75 wt% are prepared from the interfacial polymerization between sodium trisulfide and 1,2,3-trichloropropane in water. Well-defined, water-dispersible nanoparticles are obtained readily from simple procedures. The method provides a processable form of sulfur-rich polymers, and the dual role of the surfactant as a phase transfer catalyst is utilized for the size control of the nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1103-1107
Number of pages5
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015



  • interfacial polymerization
  • polymer nanoparticles
  • sodium polysulfides
  • sulfur

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics

Cite this