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Hassel and Marianne Ledbetter MatSE Colloquium - "Bio-inspired and sustainable materials design"

Event Type
Materials Science and Engineering Department
100 Materials Science and Engineering Building
Mar 7, 2022   4:00 pm  
LaShanda Korley, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical and Bioengineering, University of Delaware
Originating Calendar
MatSE Colloquium Calendar

“Bio-inspired and sustainable materials design”

Materials that are found in Nature display a wide range of properties, including responsiveness to the environment, signal transmission, and the ability to adapt to support life. Learning from Nature, biomimetic principles can be powerful tools in designing, developing and accessing the next generation of synthetic materials and systems. Using a bio-inspired framework, I will highlight several molecular design strategies utilizing cues from natural systems to demonstrate several examples of gel and network materials that exhibit mechanical tunability, responsive behavior, and hierarchical architectures.

Additionally, I will highlight pathways that enable materials sustainability via a life cycle management framework focusing on biomass building blocks as well as recycling, upgrading, and upcycling approaches. Alternative synthetic approaches are critical for the utilization of biomass building blocks in the development of robust polymeric materials with exceptional mechanical function and thermal properties. Lignocellulosic biomass, particularly the lignin fraction, is an attractive source of diverse, abundant, and inexpensive precursors for macromolecular design. I will discuss convergent research efforts to develop performance-advantaged materials within a circular economy. I will also introduce initial studies probing how ‘real’ plastics features influence chemical recycling.

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