The visible light induced cationic polymerization of epoxides can be achieved by means of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), which act as visible light photoinitiators via a radical-induced cationic photopolymerization process. When MWCNTs are irradiated with longer wavelengths (above 400 nm), they generate carbon radicals, by means of hydrogen abstraction from the epoxy monomer; these radicals are oxidized in the presence of iodonium salt to a carbocation that is sufficiently reactive to start the cationic ring-opening polymerization of an epoxy monomer. These mechanisms have been supported by electron paramagnetic resonance analysis.
Keywords: MWCNTs; epoxy monomers; visible light cationic photopolymerization.
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