UV-Curable Polyimides (LEW-16616)

Polyimides are often used for high-performance applications in the aerospace and electronics industries. Making these materials traditionally involved the condensation of a diamine with a dianhydride. Aromatic diamines are often toxic, mutagenic, or carcinogenic, resulting in health concerns and costly production control requirements. To over come these problems, other methods of polymerization using bismaleimides and bisdienes have been developed that require high reaction temperatures (above 200 Ðegrees Celcius), the process is known as Diels-Alder polymerization. A new Diels-Alder route to the synthesis of polyimides involves the use of ultraviolet light, rather than heat, to effect polymerization. This approach is based upon a well-known class of photochemical reactions, "the photoenolization of o-methylphenyl ketones", which can be carried out at room temperature. A number of polyimides, with glass transition temperatures as high as 300 Degrees Celcius have been prepared by following this approach. Although this chemistry has only been demonstrated in solution, it is expected to also be able to achieve solid-state (solvent-free) curing. Such adaptation would make the present approach particularly suitable for thin-film applications (e.g., coatings, electronics packaging, and photonic/optical materials.

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