Indexed on: 24 Jul '08Published on: 24 Jul '08Published in: Journal of Molecular Modeling
The mechanism of the spontaneous initiation of the polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) was investigated theoretically. The six minimum energy paths (MEP) of the possible reactions were calculated using the density functional theory (DFT) in conjunction with the B3LYP functional and 6-31G* basis set. The Diels-Alder initiation mechanism (path (I) and path (II)) with remarkably high energy barriers is not applicable to MMA. Four favorable paths were found (path (III), path (IV), path (V) and path (VI)), which are supporting the Flory mechanism. Path (V) has the lowest active energy. Therefore this path is considered as the main path for the spontaneous polymerization of MMA.