Free radical polymerization of caffeine-containing methacrylate monomers

Ashley M. Nelson, Sean T. Hemp, Jessica Chau, Timothy Edward Long*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The incorporation of acrylic functionality into caffeine enables the preparation of a vast array of novel thermoplastics and thermosets. A two-step derivatization provided a novel caffeine-containing methacrylate monomer capable of free radical polymerization. Copolymers of 2-ethylhexyl methacrylate and caffeine methacrylate (CMA) allowed for a systematic study of the effect of covalently bound caffeine on polymer properties. 1H NMR and UV-vis spectroscopy confirmed caffeine incorporation at 5 and 13 mol %, and SEC revealed the formation of high molecular weight (co)polymers (>40,000 g/mol). CMA incorporation resulted in a multistep degradation profile with initial mass loss closely correlating to caffeine content. Differential scanning calorimetry, rheological, and thermomechanical analysis demonstrated that relatively low levels of CMA increased the glass transition temperature, resulting in higher moduli and elucidating the benefits of incorporating caffeine into polymers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2829-2837
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 15
Externally publishedYes


  • photochemistry
  • renewable resources
  • structure-property relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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