Quantum yield of conversion of the dental photoinitiator camphorquinone

Yin Chu Chen, Jack L. Ferracane, Scott A. Prahl

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The primary absorber in dental resins is the photoinitiators, which start the photo polymerization process. We studied the quantum yield of conversion of camphorquinone (CQ), a blue light photoinitiator, using 3M FreeLight LED lamp as the light curing unit. The molar extinction coefficient, ε 469, of CQ was measured to be 46±2 cm -1/(mol/L) at 469 nm. The absorption coefficient change to the radiant exposure was measured at three different irradiances. The relationship between the CQ absorption coefficient and curing lamp radiant exposure was the same for different irradiances and fit an exponential function: μ a469(H) = μ ao exp(-H/H threshold), where μ ao is 4.46±0. 05cm -1, and H threshold=43±4J/cm 2. Combining this exponential relationship with CQ molar extinction coefficient and the absorbed photon energy (i.e., the product of the radiant exposure with the absorption coefficient), we plotted CQ concentration [number of molecules/cm 3] as a function of the accumulated absorbed photons per volume. The slope of the relationship is the quantum yield of the CQ conversion. Therefore, in our formulation (0.7 w% CQ with reducing agents 0.35 w% DMAEMA and 0.05 w% BHT) the quantum yield was solved to be 0.07±0.01 CQ conversion per absorbed photon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number52
Pages (from-to)256-266
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Oct 7 2005
EventSaratov Fall Meeting 2004: Optical Technologies in Biophysics and Medicine VI - Saratov, Russian Federation
Duration: Sep 21 2004Sep 24 2004


  • Curing efficiency
  • Molar extinction coefficient
  • Photo-cured dental composite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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