Revealing structural evolution occurring from photo-initiated polymer network formation

C. J. Brett (Corresponding author), S. Montani, M. Schwartzkopf, R. A.T.M. van Benthem, J. F.G.A. Jansen, G. Griffini, S. V. Roth (Corresponding author), M. K.G. Johansson (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Photopolymerization is a key enabling technology offering spatial and temporal control to allow for future functional materials to be made to meet societal needs. However, gaining access to robust experimental techniques to describe the evolution of nanoscale morphology in photo-initiated polymeric systems has proven so far to be a challenging task. Here, we show that these physical transformations can be monitored and quantified at the nanoscale in situ and in real-time. It is demonstrated that the initial structural features of the liquid precursors significantly affect the final morphology and the physical properties of the resulting solid via the occurrence of local heterogeneities in the molecular mobility during the curing transformation. We have made visible how local physical arrestings in the liquid, associated with both cross-linking and vitrification, determine the length scale of the local heterogeneities forming upon curing, found to be in the 10–200 nm range.

Original languageEnglish
Article number88
Number of pages7
JournalCommunications Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2020


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