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Quantifying the Efficiency of Photoinitiation Processes in Methyl Methacrylate Free Radical Polymerization via Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry

  • Fabian Günzler
    Fabian Günzler
    Preparative Macromolecular Chemistry, Institut für Technische Chemie and Polymerchemie, Universität Karlsruhe (TH)/Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Engesserstr. 18, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany, and Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design, School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
  • Edgar H. H. Wong
    Edgar H. H. Wong
    Preparative Macromolecular Chemistry, Institut für Technische Chemie and Polymerchemie, Universität Karlsruhe (TH)/Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Engesserstr. 18, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany, and Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design, School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
  • Sandy P. S. Koo
    Sandy P. S. Koo
    Preparative Macromolecular Chemistry, Institut für Technische Chemie and Polymerchemie, Universität Karlsruhe (TH)/Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Engesserstr. 18, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany, and Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design, School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
  • Tanja Junkers
    Tanja Junkers
    Preparative Macromolecular Chemistry, Institut für Technische Chemie and Polymerchemie, Universität Karlsruhe (TH)/Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Engesserstr. 18, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany, and Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design, School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
  • , and 
  • Christopher Barner-Kowollik*
    Christopher Barner-Kowollik
    Preparative Macromolecular Chemistry, Institut für Technische Chemie and Polymerchemie, Universität Karlsruhe (TH)/Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Engesserstr. 18, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany, and Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design, School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
    * Corresponding author. E-mail: [email protected]
Cite this: Macromolecules 2009, 42, 5, 1488–1493
Publication Date (Web):February 17, 2009
https://doi.org/10.1021/ma802308z
Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

    Abstract Image

    Photolytically generated radicals (at a wavelength of 351 nm) derived from the acetophenone-type photoinitiators benzoin (2-hydroxy-1,2-diphenylethanone) and mesitil (1,2-dimesitylethane-1,2-dione) (specifically the benzoyl and mesitoyl radicals) are quantified in their ability to serve as initiating species in methyl methacrylate (MMA) bulk free radical polymerizations at 5 °C. The polymerizations are initiated by the pulsing action of a high-frequency excimer laser (100 Hz) operated at the 351 nm XeF line. The pulsing action of the laser serves to limit the molecular weight of the generated polymer to allow its analysis via electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) employing a quadrupole ion trap analyzer. MMA-derived propagating radicals terminate to a large proportion via disproportionation. These disproportionation products can be unambiguously detected via ESI-MS. The resulting disproportionation signals can—within each repeat unit and over the entire mass spectrum—be quantitatively evaluated. The ratio of benzoyl and mesitoyl end groups is demonstrated to be independent of the polymer chain length, and no mass bias is observed in the ESI-MS spectra. Benzoin and mesitil are employed in variable ratios in the reaction mixture as a cocktail. A plot of the ratio of benzoyl to mesitoyl end groups vs the ratio of both initiators in the reaction mixture indicates that the benzoyl radical is 8.6 times more likely to initiate the polymerization process than the mesitoyl fragment.

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