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Keywords:

  • silicon;
  • epoxy resin;
  • optical properties;
  • structure–property relationship;
  • LED encapsulation

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to systematically investigate the curing behavior of three novel di- and trifunctional silicon-containing cycloaliphatic epoxy resins by both anhydride and cationic ring-opening polymerization methods as well as the viscoelasticity, thermal stability, water absorption and optical properties of the cured products. Differential scanning calorimetry curves show that, relative to anhydride curing, cationic polymerization can decrease the curing temperature to below 120 °C, and the reaction exothermic peaks become very narrow and sharp, exhibiting rapid curing characteristics at moderately low temperature. In addition, the differences between the anhydride and cationic curing methods bring about interesting variations in physical properties for the cured products which are well related to their chemical structures, polymerization mechanism, crosslinking density, segmental flexibility and inter-segmental distance. The excellent transparency, rapid cationic curing rate, good thermal stability and high glass transition temperature of over 275 °C make this series of epoxy resins promising candidates for light-emitting diode encapsulation applications. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry