LCPP - Laboratoire de Chimie et Procédés de Polymérisation


CPE Lyon
43 Bd du 11 Nov. 1918
69616 Villeurbanne cedex

  Chemistry, Catalysis, Polymers and Processes (UMR 5265)

Ph.D. subjects

Design of amphiphilic copolymers based on vinyl alcohol units as surfactants for emulsion polymerization
September 25, 2018

In waterborne polymer systems, the stability of the final product is conventionally ensured by the use of low molar mass ingredients, such as surfactants. For particular applications, latex design sometimes relies on the use of macromolecular species to ensure the stabilization of the resulting particles. The molar mass, the chemical nature and the architecture of these macromolecules directly impact the final applications in which the resulting dispersions are used.

The present project involves the preparation of a wide range of well-defined amphiphilic (block) copolymers by (controlled) radical polymerization, their characterization and their evaluation as efficient surfactants in emulsion polymerization. 

In this context, the successful applicant will conduct a research in polymer science performed in close collaboration with an industrial partner, major international actor in the field.

The candidates will be highly motivated, strong team players with a very high-quality honors degree in Chemistry, Polymer Chemistry (preferably free radical polymerization)or Emulsion Polymerization (or equivalent experience). A strong command of written and spoken English is necessary.

Duration: 3 years, starting asap


Franck D’Agosto (, Muriel Lansalot (, Timothy McKenna (

Toward the elimination of surfactants in high solids content latexes
September 25, 2018

Economic pressures are pushing latex producers to simultaneously better control polymer properties and to increase the solid content of their products. One of the greatest risks in increasing the solid content of a latex is the destabilization of the particles, so the choice of how and when to add stabilizers will be critical in new products. Typically, organic latexes are stabilized by low molar mass surfactants, absorbed onto the surface of the polymer particles, but there is growing interest in reducing their use. In addition to foaming in the reactor, and general reduction of product quality, surfactants can have detrimental effects on the latex stability when frozen or subjected to high shear, and in many cases they can also diminish the properties of the resulting films when exposed to water or high humidity. Finally, the use of molecular surfactants that are simply absorbed onto the surface of latex particles also raises environmental concerns, in particular the need for the treatment of aqueous effluents, and eventually environment toxicity in certain cases. Relying on the expertise of the C2P2 in many areas related to polymerization in dispersed media, the aim of the present project is to increase the solid content of an industrially important polymer produced by emulsion polymerization, while searching for means to reduce or eliminate the use of conventional molecular surfactants In addition to exploring the use use of improved surfactants that are commercially available, we will search for means to achieve this goal through the application of innovative polymer chemistry. As an example, we have recently developed an original one-pot strategy combining emulsion polymerization and reversible-deactivation radical polymerization (RDRP) to produce surfactant-free latexes. The process requires the synthesis by RDRP of hydrophilic polymer chains in water followed by their chain extension with a hydrophobic monomer in the same reactor leading to the formation of amphiphilic block copolymers. These copolymers play the role of a macromolecular stabilizer covalently anchored at the surface of the particles. Relying on these concepts, various formulations and RDRP-based chemical approaches will be explored.

The project will be developed in the context of an industrial collaboration with Arkema (CIFRE funding).

The candidates must hold a Master degree and have experience in polymer chemistry (preferably free radical polymerization) and/or physico-chemistry of polymer colloids. A strong command of written and spoken English is necessary.

Duration: 3 years, starting beginning 2019

Contacts: Muriel Lansalot (, Franck D’Agosto (, Timothy McKenna (


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