Thiol–enes: Chemistry of the past with promise for the future



The photopolymerization of mixtures of multifunctional thiols and enes is an efficient method for the rapid production of films and thermoset plastics with unprecedented physical and mechanical properties. One of the major obstacles in traditional free-radical photopolymerization is essentially eliminated in thiol–ene polymerizations because the polymerization occurs in air almost as rapidly as in an inert atmosphere. Virtually any type of ene will participate in a free-radical polymerization process with a multifunctional thiol. Hence, it is possible to tailor materials with virtually any combination of properties required for a particular application. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 42: 5301–5338, 2004