TechConnect Innovator Spotlight:

TechConnect World Innovation Conference
May 13 - 16, 2018, Anaheim, CA

A method to Initiate Radical Polymerisations Without Exogenous Initiators
The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, AU


A new method that eliminates the need to store and monitor flammable and toxic initiators, allows reactions to be conducted at ambient temperatures and does not require end-product purification. The method generates radicals without the use of exogenous initiators, which can be applied to a wide range of polymers.


Polymers produced by radical polymerisations make up 40-45% of all industrial polymers. A new method to generate radicals without the use of exogenous initiators has been developed. This eliminates the need to store and regularly monitor highly flammable and/or toxic initiators commonly used in industry. Further, in this new method no further purification is required to remove residual initiator from the final product. In this approach, ultra-sonication is simply used to generate radicals from the solvent itself, which can in-turn initiate radical polymerization. In showing proof of concept, ultrasonically derived initiators could be used to initiate controlled polymerizations. A range of industrially relevant polymers could successfully be fabricated. The resultant polymers observed high end fidelity, low dispersity and could be produced at high conversions within 1 hour. In showing versatility, the new method can also be used for free radical polymerizations-a very common method for the industrial synthesis of polymers.





Primary Application Area: Materials, Chemical

Technology Development Status: Prototype

Technology Readiness Level: TRL 3


Organization Type: Academic/Gov Lab



External Funding to Date:  Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP160102908; and
Australian Research Council Future Fellowship FT110100411