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Chapter 13

Water-soluble Photoinitiators: Present and Future

While photopolymerization of water-based formulations is a well-established technology, especially for coating applications, and water-soluble photoinitiators have been known for a long time, they did not find widespread use in industrial applications. Preferentially liquid commercial oil-soluble photoinitiators, possibly in combination with a dispersant aid, can in fact successfully be used in most water-borne UV-curable coatings and inks. Research on new developments aimed at water-soluble photoinitiators was thus mostly restricted to academia. However, in recent years new technologies, such as UV-LED inkjet printing for packaging applications, or the increasingly important additive manufacturing processes in tissue engineering and other biomedical applications, which are based on photolithography of aqueous formulations, created a new need for fully water-soluble photoinitiators that in addition meet requirements such as absorbance in the near-UV–visible, low migration or favorable cytotoxic properties. These requirements, which also created a significant market need, have stimulated significant activity in this field in recent years, not only in academia, but also in industrial, application-focused research. Besides optimization of known concepts aimed at providing water-soluble photoinitiators, several novel approaches have thus been proposed and evaluated, and the introduction of water-soluble photoinitiators as commercial products is close to realization. This chapter gives an overview of recent developments with new water-soluble photoinitiators, but also includes some novel applications of known compounds in aqueous formulations.

Publication details

Print publication date
16 Aug 2018
Copyright year
Print ISBN
ePub eISBN
From the book series:
Polymer Chemistry Series