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Double Role of Diphenylpyridine Derivatives as Fluorescent Sensors for Monitoring Photopolymerization and the Determination of the Efficiencies of the Generation of Superacids by Cationic Photoinitiators.

Sensors (Basel, Switzerland) (2020-05-31)
Monika Topa, Filip Petko, Mariusz Galek, Joanna Ortyl
ABSTRACT

Novel fluorescent sensors with electron-donating or electron-withdrawing substituents incorporated into a chromophore group based on 2,6-diphenylpyridine were designed and synthesised. The spectroscopic properties of these compounds were studied. Moreover, the positive solvatochromism of 2,6-bis-(4-methylsulphanylphenyl)pyridine (PT-SCH3) in selected solvents was studied by measurement of the absorption and emission spectra and analysed using the Dimroth-Reichardt solvent parameter set. After that, the performance of a series of 2,6-diphenylpyridine derivatives as fluorescent molecular sensors for monitoring free-radical and cationic photopolymerization processes by the Fluorescence Probe Technique (FPT) was studied. As a consequence of this stage of research, the effect of substituents on the sensitivity of the 2,6-diphenylpyridine derivatives as sensors during photopolymerization has been evaluated and discussed. It has been found that compounds containing strong electron-donating substituent (PT-SCH3) slightly shift their fluorescence spectrum during the free-radical polymerization of monomer, which enables the monitoring of the polymerization progress using the fluorescence intensity ratio measured at two different wavelengths as the progress indicator. The position of the fluorescence spectrum of 2,6-diphenylpyridine derivatives with electron-withdrawing substituents is practically insensitive to changes occurring in their environment. Hence, it is recommended to use these compounds with different indicators of the progress of the photopolymerization process based on normalised intensity of fluorescence (Imax/I0). Among the compounds studied, 2,6-bis(4-methylsulphanylphenyl)pyridine (PT-SCH3) turned out to be the best fluorescent sensor for the purpose of monitoring free-radical polymerization by FPT. Consequently, the dual application of the selected 2,6-diphenylpyridine derivatives is proposed: (a) as fluorescent sensors for monitoring the free-radical photopolymerization progress, and (b) as spectroscopic sensors for the determination of efficiencies of the generation of superacids by cationic photoinitiators during the cationic photopolymerization process. Finally, a new method for determining the relative efficiency of the photogeneration of superacids during the photo cleavage of onium salt has been devised and applied for the evaluation of the performance of 2,6-diphenylpyridine derivatives.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Diphenyliodonium hexafluorophosphate, ≥98%
Sigma-Aldrich
2,2-Dimethoxy-2-phenylacetophenone, 99%