A correlation between polymer molecular structure and acid catalyzed reaction kinetics is demonstrated by a photoresist copolymer with an acid-labile and a non-reactive monomer. The acid catalyzed deprotection kinetics depend significantly on the composition of the non-reactive comonomer in the polymer chain. The apparent reaction rate constant decreases monotonically with increasing non-reactive comonomer composition. The phenomena are interpreted as the reduction of diffusivity of photoacid in the polymer matrix from a hydrogen-bonding interaction with the polar group in the inert comonomer. In addition, hydrogen-bonding interactions between the photoacid and the reaction product, primarily methacrylic acid, can account for the acid loss or trapping effect observed by various researchers.