Computational study of cyclohexanone-monomer co-initiation mechanism in thermal homo-polymerization of methyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate.

Abstract

This paper presents a systematic computational study of the mechanism of cyclohexanone-monomer co-initiation in high-temperature homopolymerization of methyl acrylate (MA) and methyl methacrylate (MMA). Previous experimental studies of spontaneous thermal homopolymerization of MA and MMA showed higher monomer conversion in the presence of cyclohexanone than xylene. However, these studies did not reveal the initiation mechanism(s) or the initiating species. To identify the initiation mechanism and the initiating species, we explore four different mechanisms, (1) Kaim, (2) Flory, (3) α-position hydrogen transfer, and (4) Mayo, using first-principles density functional theory (DFT) and second-order Møller-Plesset perturbation theory (MP2) calculations. Transition-state geometries for each mechanism are determined using B3LYP/6-31G* and assessed with MP2/6-31G*. Activation energies and rate constants are calculated using transition-state theory. The harmonic oscillator approximation and tunneling corrections are applied to compute the reaction rate constants. This study indicates that α-position hydrogen transfer and Mayo mechanisms have comparable barriers and are capable of generating monoradicals for initiating polymerization of MA and MMA; these two mechanisms can cause cyclohexanone-monomer co-initiation in thermal polymerization of MA and MMA.

DOI: 10.1021/jp2124394

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Cite this paper

@article{Liu2012ComputationalSO, title={Computational study of cyclohexanone-monomer co-initiation mechanism in thermal homo-polymerization of methyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate.}, author={Shi Liu and Sriraj Srinivasan and Michael C. Grady and Masoud Soroush and Andrew M Rappe}, journal={The journal of physical chemistry. A}, year={2012}, volume={116 22}, pages={5337-48} }