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Photothermal Initiation of Frontal Polymerization Using Carbon Nanoparticles

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journal contribution
posted on 15.09.2020, 13:37 by Leon M. Dean, Amogha Ravindra, Allen X. Guo, Mostafa Yourdkhani, Nancy R. Sottos
Frontal polymerization (FP) involves the rapid conversion of monomer into polymer within a moving reaction zone. The front is typically initiated with a thermal stimulus, but noncontact, remote initiation with light is attractive for applications where direct heating is not feasible. Here, we demonstrate efficient conversion of light into localized heat using carbon nanoparticles to accomplish photothermal initiation of FP. The addition of 1 wt % carbon black to dicyclopentadiene monomer results in a 10-fold increase in temperature rise from photothermal heating and a 30-fold decrease in energy input required for photothermal FP initiation. The energy input is further reduced by using carbon nanotubes and nanofibers. This photothermal initiation approach is expected to be applicable to other FP systems.