Curcumin, a naturally occurring, intensely yellow dye extracted from the spice turmeric, is an efficient photosensitizer for diaryliodonium salt photoinitiators at wavelengths ranging from 340 to 535 nm. With curcumin as a photosensitizer, it is possible to carry out the cationic photopolymerization of a wide variety of epoxide, oxetane, and vinyl monomers with long-wavelength UV and visible light. An example of the photopolymerization of an epoxide monomer with ambient solar irradiation is provided. Several other curcumin analogues were synthesized, and their use as photosensitizers is examined. With such photosensitizers, the range of spectral sensitivity can be extended well into the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. (c) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.