Frontal Polymerization in Aqueous Conditions

For large scale industrial processing the use of water as green solvent, as well as the application of energy efficient process techniques is of high interest for a variety of polymer syntheses. UV initiated frontal polymerization of acrylic acid in aqueous formulations, for the production of hydrogels, fits perfectly both requirements. While UV-triggering of the thermal process offers numerous advantages the formation of bubbles during the frontal reaction itself and during the initiation can be fatal.

By providing a new sulfate-sulfonyl thermal initiator we are able to report the first bubble free steady state thermal front reaction in water initiated by UV-light, which could be investigated reproducible with regard to the initiation process.

P. Potzmann, F. Lopez Villanueva, R. Liska: "UV-Initiated Bubble-Free Frontal Polymerization in Aqueous Conditions"; Macromolecules, 48 (2015), 24; S. 8738 - 8745.