Redox Intitiated Cationic Polymerization



Two novel redox initiator systems have been developed for carrying out the cationic polymerizations of vinyl and heterocyclic monomers. The initiators are based on various onium salts as the oxidant together with an alkylborane or an organosilane as the reducing agent. Using both redox cationic initiator systems, the polymerizations of a wide variety of monomers can be carried out at or below room temperature in the presence or absence of unreactive solvents. Also described in this communication is the novel use of a two-component redox system in which the reducing agent, a silane, is delivered to the monomer sample in the vapor state. Optical pyrometry (infrared thermography) was employed as a convenient method with which to monitor the polymerizations in real-time. A study of the effects of variations in the structures of the onium salt, the silane and the type of noble metal catalyst were carried out. The use of these initiator systems for carrying out commercially attractive crosslinking polymerizations for coatings, composites and electronic encapsulations is discussed.