Polymer Analysis Polymer Physics

Volume 128 of the series Advances in Polymer Science pp 47-94


Wavelength sensitivity in polymer photodegradation

  • Anthony L. AndradyAffiliated withCamille Dreyfus Laboratory, Research Triangle Institute

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This review examines the terminology and experimental approaches used to describe wavelength sensitivity in polymer photodegradation and summarizes the data published on the subject. Wavelength sensitivity or the efficacy of different regions or individual wavelengths in the ultra violet-visible region of the spectrum is usually expressed in terms of action and activation spectra. An action spectrum shows the effectiveness of a photoprocess at unit or constant irradiating photons, at different irradiating wavelengths. An activation spectrum shows the efficacy of different spectral regions of a specific source spectrum in causing a photoprocess. Published data on both naturally-occurring polymers and the key synthetic polymers are summarized.