“Kick-started” Oxetanes in Photoinitiated Cationic Polymerization: Scale-up Synthesis and Structure-property Studies

Jananee Narayanan Sivakami, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Abstract: A new class of UV/electron beam (EB) curable oxetane monomers has been identified for kick-started cationic polymerization with an aim to have a transformative impact on the radiation curing industry. These materials have the potential to replace acrylic monomers and reactive oligomers in many existing applications. However, the availability of oxetane monomers has been limited in small quantities in a laboratory scale, and the development of scale-up synthesis has been the bottleneck for the immediate impacts in industry. Among oxetane monomers, 3,3’-(oxybis(methylene))bis(3-ethloxetane), DOX, is potentially one of the most inexpensive, highly reactive multifunctional oxetane monomers that can be cross-linked by UV and EB. In this study, the scale-up synthesis of DOX monomer was accomplished. A series of different mono-functional epoxy/oxetane monomers was employed as co-monomers for targeting specific end-use applications. A fundamental understanding of structure-processing-property relationship was established to evaluate the effect of different co-monomer compositions on the viscosity, conversion, network formation and thermo-mechanical properties.