Pilot plant synthesis of methacrylate copolymer precursors to nonlinear optical materials



The copolymerization of methacrylates with methacrylates containing anilino side chains was investigated. Azobis(isobutyronitrile) was a better initiator than benzoyl peroxide. Continuous feed of initiator was advantageous compared to adding the initiator all at once. The reaction was scaled up using a 10-L reactor, ultimately yielding hundreds of grams of the desired copolymers, which are valuable precursors to polymeric dyes used in nonlinear optical studies.