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Determining Initiator Efficiency in Radical Polymerization by Electrospray-Ionization Mass Spectrometry



A method for measuring initiator efficiency in radical polymerization using ESI-MS is presented. The method is based on the evaluation of relative MS peak intensities of polymer that has been initiated by a mixture of initiators, of which one serves as an internal reference. The method is quickly and easily performed and was found to be reproducible and robust. In polymerization of methyl methacrylate in solution, the efficiency of BTMHP at 80 °C was determined to be fBTMHP = 0.57 ± 0.08, and the efficiency of DBPO at 100 °C was measured to be fDBPO = 0.89 ± 0.08.

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