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The formation, characterization, and application of polymer colloids, a subject that has been extensively investigated, remains a topic of great scientific and technological importance, rich in unexplored and far from understood phenomena and observations. Polymer colloids represent a class of soft matter that has enabled mature technologies including latexes for paints and coatings, personal and home care formulations, cosmetics, food additives, and reinforcing additives in composite materials. While these fields continue to advance, emerging technologies such as targeted-controlled drug delivery, medical imaging, enhanced oil recovery, and photonics are rapidly developing. Continued advancement of the field of polymer colloids will require: (i) new synthetic and physical-based approaches to generating colloids with internal and external structure, encapsulation of hydrophobic and hydrophilic cargo, hybrid and multi-functional properties, and autonomous and triggered activity, (ii) the development of tools for physical and chemical characterization, and (iii) theory and simulations to enable detailed molecular-scale understanding that will provide new insights and accelerate the finding of new structures via machine-learning. Indeed, the field remains filled with the potential for new advances in the formation, characterization and application of polymer colloids.

This book was, in part, motivated by a short course organized by the editors at the 2017 American Physical Society Annual Meeting as part of the Division of Polymer Physics programming, aimed at providing an overview of recent advances in the formation, characterization and application of polymer colloids. The book is meant to both provide an update on mature topics and introduce new ones for the seasoned soft matter scientist. Part I of the book focuses on recent advances in polymer colloid formation including Dow Chemical's Bluewave Technology and Flash NanoPrecipitation. Part II highlights recent advances in colloid characterization including simulations, microscopy, and physical property measurements. Finally, Part III addresses recent advances in the application of polymer colloids, including Pickering emulsions, medical applications, and personal care. It is our desire that this book, as part of the Soft Matter Series, will serve as a reference to both the novice and expert in polymer colloid science, and help inspire new fundamental insights and disruptive technologies.

Finally, we'd like to offer our sincere gratitude to our colleagues who have contributed their expertise to this book, and for their commitment to the creation and dissemination of new knowledge in the field of polymer colloid science. We'd also like to acknowledge the staff of the Royal Society of Chemistry for their support of the book. RDP gratefully acknowledges the support of a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor Fellowship that allowed him to visit Imperial College, London and co-develop this book.

Rodney D. Priestley

Robert K. Prud'homme

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