Stimuli-responsive (latent) catalysts are attracting increasing attention to achieve spatial and temporal control of chemical transformations
Switchable catalysts provide ample opportunities in external control of material properties, with photo-switching being an especially attractive functionality. While light-triggered activation of latent catalysts holds tremendous potential, this approach has thus far received limited attention in paint curing. Previous work in our groups has shown that light-activated catalysts can be successfully applied in latent alkyd paint curing. This new proposal builds on a patent and a previous publication, and aims to improve the current system. The main challenge of this new project will be to tune the activation behaviour of the catalyst, in order to make sure that the catalyst also works in paints containing dark-coloured pigments.
This should result in sustainable (MEKO and cobalt-free) and latent (inactive in the can) alkyd paint drying. These challenges offer ample opportunities for catalyst tuning and catalyst design, which will be guided by advanced computational and spectroscopic studies.