Self-initiation of UV photopolymerization reactions using tetrahalogenated bisphenol A (meth)acrylates†
The potential of tetrachlorinated and tetrabrominated bisphenol A diacrylates and dimethacrylates for self-initiation of a radical photopolymerization was investigated. The kinetics of the photopolymerization of an acrylic model varnish containing halogenated monomers was studied by real-time FTIR spectroscopy, whereas the formation of reactive species and secondary products was elucidated by laser flash photolysis and product analysis by GC-MS after steady-state photolysis. The interpretation of the experimental data and the analysis of possible reaction pathways were assisted by quantum chemical calculations. It was shown that all halogenated monomers lead to a significant acceleration of the photopolymerization kinetics at a minimum concentration of 5 wt%. Steady-state and laser flash photolysis measurements as well as quantum chemical calculations showed that brominated and chlorinated samples do not follow the same pathway to generate radical species. Whereas chlorinated (meth)acrylates may cleave only at the C–O bonds of the carboxyl groups resulting in acrolein and oxyl radicals for initiation, brominated monomers may cleave either at the C–O bonds or at the C–Br bonds delivering aryl and bromine radicals. The quantum yields for the photolysis of the halogenated monomers were found to be in the order of 0.1 for acrylates and 0.2 for methacrylates (with an estimated error of 25%), independently of the attached Br and Cl halogens. Finally, the trihalogenated bisphenol A di(meth)acrylate radicals and the acrolein radicals were found to show the highest efficiencies for the reaction with another acrylic double bond leading to the formation of a polymer network.