Recent advances and challenges in the design of organic photoacid and photobase generators for polymerizations

Nicolas Zivic, Paula Kishi Kuroishi, Frédéric Dumur, Didier Gigmes, Andrew Dove, Haritz Sardon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)
463 Downloads (Pure)


Photopolymerization, or the use of light to trigger polymerization, is one of the most exciting technologies for advanced manufacturing of polymers. One of the key components in the photopolymerization processes is the photoactive compound that absorbs the light, generating the active species that promotes the polymerization and largely determines the final properties of the material. The field of photopolymerization has been dominated by photoradical generators to mediate radical reactions. In the last decade, to expand the number of polymers that can be prepared by photopolymerization, intensive research has been devoted to the synthesis and utilization of photoactive molecules that are able to generate a base or an acid upon irradiation. These organic compounds are known to promote not only the ring‐opening polymerization of various heterocyclic monomers such as lactones, carbonates, or epoxides but also to trigger the step‐growth synthesis of polyurethanes. This Minireview highlights the recent advances in the development of organic photobase and photoacid generators, with the aim of encouraging the wider application of these photoactive compounds in the photopolymerization area and to expand the use of these polymers in advanced manufacturing processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10410 – 10422
Number of pages13
JournalAngewandte Chemie (International Edition)
Issue number31
Early online date29 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2019


  • photoacid generators
  • photobase generators
  • photocatalysis
  • photopolymerization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)


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