Macromolecules, Vol.52, No.13, 4968-4978, 2019
Independent Control of Singlet Oxygen and Radical Generation via Irradiation of a Two-Color Photosensitive Molecule
Free-radical polymerizations are used for a wide range of applications but are detrimentally impacted by the presence of oxygen. Zinc phthalocyanines have been previously used as singlet oxygen generators to excite radical-consuming ground-state triplet oxygen into its less reactive singlet state prior to photoexcitation of a photoinitiator. We report for the first time that polymerization can be achieved via irradiation of UV band of phthalocyanine and that photosensitization and photoinitiation can be independently achieved via irradiation of its two distinct absorption bands to reduce oxygen inhibition and initiate polymerization without the need for additional treatment. We propose a mechanism for this unique photoinitiation phenomenon and verify its feasibility via computational and experimental approaches. This new class of dual-photosensitive molecules shows promising utility in applications that are adversely impacted by the presence of oxygen, such as coatings and stereolithography.