The Odyssey of a Polymer Chemist in Switzerland


  • Martin Roth



Binderpolymers for soldermasks, Benzylsulfonium salts as fast curing agents for epoxy resins, High temperature stable polymers, Microgel-imidazole adducts as latent epoxy curing catalysts, Photocrosslinkable dmi-polymers


A personal survey of some of the polymer-related work which I had the chance to carry out in Ciba-Geigy's Central Research and in the polymer departments of Ciba SC, Vantico and Huntsman is given, including a few short comments on the eventful history of the former Ciba-Geigy Central Research and Polymer Division. In the early 1970s, high-temperature-stable aromatic [polyamide – polyimide] block copolymers and the relatively easy processable bismaleimides as high-temperature thermoset materials were the dominant theme. Work on photocrosslinkable DMI polymers which ultimately led to the development of a non-silver graphic film and a presensitized negative offset printing plate was pursued at the Centre de Recherche Marly. In the field of epoxy resin chemistry, 'latent' hardeners, featuring a relatively long pot-life at room temperature and a short cure cycle at the processing temperature, were devised in the form of benzyl-sulfonium salts and imidazole-functionalized microgels. Ciba-Geigy's polymer division has pioneered the development of liquid, photoimageable soldermasks with it's Probimer® range of products. Here binderpolymers constitute the main components of the complex formulation recipes. High molecular weight polymers carrying acryloyl and carboxyl functional groups were synthesized for this purpose and have found commercial application in new soldermask generations.




How to Cite

M. Roth, Chimia 2008, 62, 847, DOI: 10.2533/chimia.2008.847.