Characterization of dental composite curing kinetics using dynamic light scattering

Elaine M. Wells-Gray, Sean J. Kirkpatrick, Ron L. Sakaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Polymer resin composites are a class of widely used restorative dental materials that undergo a complex polymerization curing process that has been the subject of substantial research. This study uses speckle correlation methods based on dynamic light scattering as a tool to monitor the rate and extent of dental composite polymerization during and after photo-curing. Thin disc-shaped samples (<2mm) were constructed using composite consisting of 50:50 BisGMA/TEGDMA resin, quartz silica filler particles, and camphorquinone as photo-initiator. A 633 nm HeNe laser beam was used to probe the top surface of the sample via a backscattered speckle pattern, while the bottom surface was illuminated with a halogen curing lamp (peak wavelength=470nm) to initiate the polymerization reaction. The speckle patterns were recorded with a CCD camera, and stored as a 'speckle cube' for post processing. Correlation values of the intensity fluctuation were calculated on a pixel-by-pixel basis for pairs of subsequent speckle images and then ensemble averaged. Results show a sharp decrease in correlation at the onset of curing, indicating a large amount of double bond conversion and movement within the composite. Correlation values then quickly increase, eventually reaching a plateau near unity, indicating cessation of molecular rearrangement. The kinetic behavior demonstrated by our correlation curves are in good agreement with curing data found in the literature, and demonstrate the usefulness of this technique for monitoring dental composite curing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number717605
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - Jun 22 2009
EventDynamics and Fluctuationssin Biomedical Photonics VI - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 24 2009Jan 26 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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