Blocked Phosphates as Photolatent Catalysts for Dynamic Photopolymer Networks

Carina Dertnig, Gema Guedes de la Cruz, Dmytro Neshchadin, Sandra Schlögl*, Thomas Griesser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While latent catalysts are a well-established strategy for initiating and controlling the rate of polymerization reactions, their use in dynamic polymer networks is still in its infancy. The ideal latent catalyst should be thermally stable and release a highly active species in response to an external trigger. Here, we have synthesized a temperature resistant (>200 °C) organic phosphate with a photolabile o-nitrobenzyl protecting group that can be cleaved by UV light. Introduced in a visible light curable thiol-click photopolymer, the sequence-dependent λ-orthogonality of the curing and cleavage enables an efficient network formation at 451 nm, without premature release of the catalyst. Once cured, irradiation at 372 nm spatiotemporally activates the phosphate, which catalyzes transesterifications at elevated temperature. The formed catalyst has no effect on the thermal stability of the polymeric network and allows the activation of bond exchange reactions in selected domains of printed 3D objects.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202215525
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number10
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • 3D Printing
  • Photochemistry
  • Polymers
  • Shape Memory
  • Vitrimer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)


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