This review describes photoinduced processes which can provide a unique way for the setting of adhesives. The chemistry of UV-curing is presented, discussing basic concepts of photochemistry of the photoinitiation reactions, mechanisms of chain propagation and crosslinking, and the nature of the resins employed. In the second section, the technological advantages of UV-curing in the field of adhesives are discussed, together with the limitations of the technique, in comparison with traditional thermal curing. UV-cured adhesives currently employed in different fields are then described, classifying them according to the technological process of curing adopted: adhesives obtained by a single direct UV-curing step and adhesives obtained by coupling a photoinduced reaction with another curing system (i.e. dual-cure processes). Finally, separate sections are devoted to adhesives in medicine and to dismantlable/reworkable adhesives.
Key words: UV-curing, photopolymerization, photocrosslinking, radiation curing