PLP-ESR monitoring of midchain radicals in n-butyl acrylate polymerization

R.X.E. Willemse, A.M. Herk, van, E. Panchenko, T. Junkers, M. Buback

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

143 Citations (Scopus)


The percentage of two types of free radicals occurring within n-butyl acrylate pulsed laser polymerization (PLP) has been measured via ESR spectroscopy. Polymerization in solution of toluene, at monomer concentrations between 0.50 and 2.53 mol L-1 and temperatures between -50 and 70 °C, was induced by 351 nm excimer laser pulses applied at a repetition rate of 20 Hz. The ESR spectra obtained at low degrees of monomer conversion may be adequately represented by superimposing a six-component four-line spectrum assigned to secondary propagating radicals (SPRs) and a nine-line spectrum assigned to tertiary midchain radicals produced by backbiting (MCR1s). The percentage contribution to total radical concentration of the latter species, which is produced from an SPR by a 1,5-H shift backbiting reaction, is negligible at -50 °C and is close to 80% at 70 °C. The transition of an SPR to a MCR1 species invalidates the linear correlation of time t after applying a laser pulse with the size of the growing radical. The observed high concentration of MCR1 species explains the known severe limitations met in acrylate PLP-SEC experiments directed toward measuring the propagation rate of acrylate radicals with chain-end functionality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5098-5103
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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