Hydroxyl functional azo compounds have been used as reducing agents in redox polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) in conjunction with eerie ammonium nitrate (which acts as an oxidizing agent in aqueous nitric acid at 20 degrees C). Kinetic measurements were followed by gravimetric method, at lower conversions, not exceeding 10% conversion. The dependence of rate of polymerization and average molecular weight, which was determined by gel permeation chromatography (GPC), on ate, Ce(IV), and MMA concentrations, respectively, were investigated. The homopolymers, which contain thermo- and photolabile azo groups, were utilized with different comonomers to give block or graft copolymers depending on termination mechanism of homopolymerization. (C) 1994 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.