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During the last 40years, researchers investigating photoinitiated cationic polymerizations have delivered tremendous success in both industrial and academic settings. A myriad of photoinitiating systems have been developed, thus allowing polymerization of a broad array of monomers (e.g., epoxides, vinyl ethers, alkenes, cyclic ethers, and lactones) under practical, inexpensive, and environmentally benign conditions. More recently, owing to progress in photoredox catalysis, photocontrolled cationic polymerization has emerged as a means to precisely regulate polymer chain growth. This Minireview provides a concise historical perspective on cationic polymerization induced by light and discusses the latest advances in both photoinitiated and photocontrolled processes. The latter are exciting new directions for the field that will likely impact industries ranging from micropatterning to the synthesis of complex biomaterials and sequence-controlled polymers.
author list (cited authors)
Michaudel, Q., Kottisch, V., & Fors, B. P.