Microgel containers for self-healing polymeric materials: Morphology prediction and mechanism of formation
18 types of gel microparticles, composed of 3 polymer types and 6 different solvents, were prepared by interfacial polymerization and compared in a systematic way with respect to their structure and function. Three types of morphologies, specific for each polymer-solvent pair, were observed: core-shell, multicompartment and compact. The morphology was found to be a direct consequence of the specific polymer-solvent interactions and can be, in most cases, predicted on the basis of simple swelling experiments with a chosen polymer in the solvent. Further, the Hansen Solubility Parameters approach was applied to the investigated systems enabling a reliable morphology prediction of microgel particles made of any polymer/solvent combination with known solubility parameters (spheres). The mechanisms responsible for the formation of particles with different morphologies are also discussed.