Photopolymerization without Light. Polymerization of Acrylates Using Oxalate Esters and Hydrogen Peroxide<sup>†</sup>

We define the photopolymerization of acrylates <i>without light</i> as a process wherein the radical chain polymerization produced by photoinitiators are produced by nonphotochemical means. We use the chemical reactions of the chemiluminescent <i>lightstick</i> to accomplish this. An important potential application is in producing “photopolymers” in areas that are not light accessible as in the inside of a tube or behind a pipe. Polymerizable acrylate mixtures containing dissolved oxalate esters undergo radical chain polymerization when exposed to a flow of nitrogen gas saturated with hydrogen peroxide vapors. We propose aryloxyoxalyl hydroperoxides to be the reactive species.