Polystyrene is an aromatic polymer that consist of a linear hydrocarbon chain with a benzene ring attached to every second carbon atom. Particles coated with polystyrene have a hydrophobic surface. This surface also encourages a stron physical adsorption of molecular species with hydrophobic regions. Surfactants and protein molecules stick strongly by passive adsorption.
By coating particles with a polystyrene shell (typically 10–20 nm thick), the particles can be dispersed in a wide range of polar organic solvents. This is our preferred method of transferring larger (10 nm and greater) diameter particles into organic solvents and hydrophobic composites.
- The density of polystyrene is relatively low (1.055 g/cm3 at 20°C)
- Refractive index of 1.59 at 590 nm
- Soluble in benzene, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, cyclohexane, dimethylformamide, methylene chloride, pyridine, tetrahydrofuran, toluene, xylene
- Insoluble in: Acetone, butane, ethanol, ether, methanol, hexane, phenol, propanol, water
Representative Source: polystyrene (Sigma Aldrich, XXXXX)
Comparison to Alternatives
- Soluble in polar solvents
- Integration into hydrophobic composites
- Particle suspension in polar solvents