Visible-light-sensitive photoredox catalysis by iron complexes: applications in cationic and radical polymerization reactions

Jing Zhang, Damien Campolo, Frederic Dumur, Pu Xiao, Jean Pierre Fouassier, Didier Gigmes, Jacques Lalevée

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27 Citations (Scopus)


The development of iron complexes for the photoredox catalysis is a huge challenge. Indeed, Iron complexes can be ideal candidates due to their potential visible light absorption and redox properties but also because they are less toxic, inexpensive and environmentally friendly compared to other catalysts. In the present paper, a series of novel iron complexes have been synthesized and utilized to initiate the free radical promoted cationic polymerization of epoxides or the free radical polymerization of acrylates through photoredox catalysis processes upon exposure to near UV (385 nm) or visible violet (405 nm) light emitting diodes (LEDs). When combined with an iodonium salt and N-vinylcarbazole, the iron complex-based photoinitiating systems are able to generate radicals, cations, and radical cations. The initiation efficiency is investigated through real-time Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and a satisfactory initiating ability is found. The mechanisms for the generation of the reactive initiating species through photoredox catalysis are studied by different methods (steady state photolysis, cyclic voltammetry and electron spin resonance spin trapping techniques) and discussed in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2247-2253
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • cationic photopolymerization
  • iron complexes
  • LEDs
  • photoinitiator
  • radical photopolymerization

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