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Open AccessArticle

Thiol–Ene Photopolymerization: Scaling Law and Analytical Formulas for Conversion Based on Kinetic Rate and Thiol–Ene Molar Ratio

1
Graduate Institute of Applied Science and Engineering, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City 24205, Taiwan
2
Department of Biomedical Imaging and Radiological Science, China Medical University, Taizhong 400, Taiwan
3
New Vision, Inc., New Taipei City 242, Taiwan
4
Department of Life Science, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City 24205, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1640; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101640
Received: 22 September 2019 / Revised: 3 October 2019 / Accepted: 7 October 2019 / Published: 10 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functionally Responsive Polymeric Materials II)
Kinetics and analytical formulas for radical-mediated thiol–ene photopolymerization were developed in this paper. The conversion efficacy of thiol–ene systems was studied for various propagation to chain transfer kinetic rate-ratio (RK), and thiol–ene concentration molar-ratio (RC). Numerical data were analyzed using analytical formulas and compared with the experimental data. We demonstrated that our model for a thiol–acrylate system with homopolymerization effects, and for a thiol–norbornene system with viscosity effects, fit much better with the measured data than a previous model excluding these effects. The general features for the roles of RK and RC on the conversion efficacy of thiol (CT) and ene (CV) are: (i) for RK = 1, CV and CT have the same temporal profiles, but have a reversed dependence on RC; (ii) for RK >> 1, CT are almost independent of RC; (iii) for RK << 1, CV and CT have the same profiles and both are decreasing functions of the homopolymerization effects defined by kCV; (iv) viscosity does not affect the efficacy in the case of RK >> 1, but reduces the efficacy of CV for other values of RK. For a fixed light dose, higher light intensity has a higher transient efficacy but a lower steady-state conversion, resulting from a bimolecular termination. In contrast, in type II unimolecular termination, the conversion is mainly governed by the light dose rather than its intensity. For optically thick polymers, the light intensity increases with time due to photoinitiator depletion, and thus the assumption of constant photoinitiator concentration (as in most previous models) suffers an error of 5% to 20% (underestimated) of the crosslink depth and the efficacy. Scaling law for the overall reaction order, defined by [A]m[B]n and governed by the types of ene and the rate ratio is discussed herein. The dual ratio (RK and RC) for various binary functional groups (thiol–vinyl, thiol–acrylate, and thiol–norbornene) may be tailored to minimize side effects for maximal monomer conversion or tunable degree of crosslinking. View Full-Text
Keywords: thiol–ene functional group; kinetic model; photopolymerization; crosslinking; curing depth thiol–ene functional group; kinetic model; photopolymerization; crosslinking; curing depth
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Chen, K.-T.; Cheng, D.-C.; Lin, J.-T.; Liu, H.-W. Thiol–Ene Photopolymerization: Scaling Law and Analytical Formulas for Conversion Based on Kinetic Rate and Thiol–Ene Molar Ratio. Polymers 2019, 11, 1640.

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