The spectral sensitivity of onium salt photoinitiators in cationic polymerization can be tuned from the short wavelength region of the UV spectrum to wavelengths up to the visible region by using direct and indirect activation, respectively. Indirect activation is based on the electron transfer reactions between onium. salts and free radical photoinitiators, appropriate sensitizers and compounds capable of forming charge transfer complexes. Bisacylphosphine oxides, dimanganese decacarbonyl in conjunction with alkyl halides and titanocene type photoinitiators such as Irgacure 784 were shown to be useful free radical promoters providing the possibility of performing cationic polymerization in the long wavelength and visible region. The synthetic routes to prepare block copolymers by using electron transfer photosensitization and free radical promoted cationic polymerization are also described.