In situ monitoring of free‐radical polymerization by fluorescence quenching of fluorene and reactive derivatives

Keith E. Miller, Eric L. Burch, Frederick D Lewis, John M Torkelson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


A new approach for monitoring in situ the progress of an addition polymerization has been developed based on the fluorescence quenching of fluorene. Fluorene is quenched by the enone functionality on acrylates and methacrylates, but is not quenched after the carbon‐carbon double bond in this group is broken by incorporation into the polymer backbone. Ethyl (2‐fluorenyl)methacrylate was used as a self‐quenching comonomer during the 2,2'‐pazo bis(2‐methylpropionitrile)‐initiated free‐radical copolymerization of methyl methacrylate at 60°C. The fluorescence intensity increases by 60% up to the onset of the gel effect (defined as the sudden increase in the temperature profile). The system shows sensitivity well into the glassy state, with fluorescence increasing more than two orders of magnitude from the beginning of the reaction. This sensitivity is compared with that of two free‐volume‐dependent probes, 1,3‐bis(1‐pyrene)propane and dimethylaminobenzylidenemalononitrile, and to fluorene. The temperature profile of the test‐tube‐scale reaction was used as an internal reference for characterizing the sensitivity of the probes with respect to the gel effect region. © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2625-2635
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


  • fluorene
  • fluorescence
  • free‐radical polymerization
  • in situ monitoring
  • quenching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'In situ monitoring of free‐radical polymerization by fluorescence quenching of fluorene and reactive derivatives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this