The focus of our group lies at the interface of organic chemistry and polymer science. Polymers are truly shaping today’s world and can be found everywhere, from commodity plastics to high-end technologies. As chemists, this raises many important questions: Can we make plastics more sustainable by replacing fossil fuel-based monomers with biorenewable resources? Can we develop biodegradable polymers with desirable physical properties? Finally, how do we maintain the rapid pace of advancements in solar cell construction, energy source systems, and biomedical technologies? These challenges in mind, our group is interested in the design of new polymerization methods and synthesis of unique monomers—all with the aim to prepare materials with unprecedented electronic and mechanical properties.
To this end, three areas of research are actively explored:
(1) The design of sequence-controlled polymerizations to afford conjugated polymers with defined monomeric sequences.
(2) The scalable synthesis of twisted/distorted conductive materials, including graphene nanoribbons, by employing “bottom-up” strategies.
(3) The invention of a traceless click process to rapidly synthesize and functionalize both small molecules and polymers.
Through monomer, catalyst, and polymer preparation, researchers will receive extensive training in the fields of synthetic organic chemistry, as well as polymer synthesis and characterization.