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Synthesis and characterisation of a photoresponsive four-armed graft copolymer prepared from coumarin and methyl methacrylate

F. Bezgin (Department of Chemistry, University of Bitlis Eren, Bitlis, Turkey)
K. Demirelli (Department of Chemistry, University of Firat, Elaziğ, Turkey)

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Article publication date: 3 November 2014




This paper aims to a newly designed photoresponsive four-armed graft copolymer was synthesised and characterised. The synthesised polymer contains photochemical group and a greater part of the cross-linkable functional group which is not affected by short wavelength when subject to under ultraviolet (UV) irradiation in film status.


The four-armed macroinitiator was prepared by reacting diethanol amine with poly [methyl-2-chloro-4-{7-(chloroacetyl) oxy]-2-oxo-2H-chromen-4-yl}-2-methylbutanoate] and acylating the product with chloroacetyl chloride. A grafting reaction with n-butyl methacrylate was carried out in the presence of the four-armed macroinitiator and the catalyst CuBr/2, 2′-bipyridyne at 90°C. All of the synthesised polymers were structurally characterised by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and Hydrogen-1 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (1H-NMR) spectra. Gel permeation chromatography was used to obtain the molecular weights of polymer.


1H-NMR, FT-IR and ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy demonstrated that the four-armed macroinitiator and the graft copolymer was successfully synthesised. The end-functionalised poly(methyl methacrylate) with 7-hydroxyl-4-chloromethyl coumarin was irradiated at the wavelength larger than 300 nm to create the cyclobutane ring in between the 7-hydroxyl-4-chloro methyl coumarin unities. To characterise the polymer and show the transformation of coumarin unities into photodimers, 1H-NMR, FT-IR and UV-Vis spectroscopy were used.

Research limitations/implications

Graft copolymer containing coumarin has involves photocrosslinkable functional group, in which reactive functional group has attracted great interest from both industrial and academic fields. Their synthesis provides the opportunity for a compatible modification of the graft copolymer structure to develop adapted macromolecules for a range of end practices.

Practical implications

A photoresponsive graft copolymer can have a role in an active area of polymer chemistry research due to its uses in the areas of photolithography, liquid crystal, non-linear optical materials, laser dyes, fluorescence materials and future microelectronics.


Graft copolymers containing a photocrosslinkable functional group, and a star polymer may be prepared using the method described in this paper and then used in technological applications. The method discussed here also allows photoinduced reversible self-healing in solid polymers.



The authors wish to thank FUBAP-1792 for financial support of this project.


Bezgin, F. and Demirelli, K. (2014), "Synthesis and characterisation of a photoresponsive four-armed graft copolymer prepared from coumarin and methyl methacrylate", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 43 No. 6, pp. 347-356.



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