Department of Chemistry Master Calendar

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This calendar includes all events from the following individual calendars: Department of Chemistry Alumni EventsDepartment Events (events of general interest and/or relevant to all research areas), Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Events, and events related to specific research areas and programs (Analytical Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program, Inorganic Chemistry & Materials Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry), as well as Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Seminars & Events.


Materials Faculty Candidate: Dr. Peng Liu, California Institute of Technology, "Sustainable Polymer Synthesis and Degradation"

Event Type
Materials Chemistry
Jan 17, 2023   10:00 am  
Lisa Johnson
Originating Calendar
Chemistry - Inorganic/ Materials Chemistry Seminars


Sustainable Polymer Synthesis and Degradation

Polymer based materials are an essential part of our daily life. With an ever increasing demand for these materials, tackling critical issues such as energy use, environmental pollution, and climate change is essential in the context of materials production and application. In this seminar, I will present our recent efforts to address these problems from the viewpoints of both polymer synthesis and end-of-life degradation. In a typical ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP), the catalyst is always covalently bound to the end of the growing polymer chain. Therefore, each catalyst can only form one polymer chain, which dictates that stoichiometric amounts of the transition metal complex are required. This results in high catalyst loadings, especially during the synthesis of low molecular weight polymers, which is expensive and leads to potentially toxic transition metal residues in these polymers. We recently developed a catalytic ROMP method and a catalytic living ROMP method. These two newly developed synthetic methods significantly decrease the catalyst loading, enabling an inexpensive and environmentally friendly approach for the future development of ROMP. To address the end-of-life of polymer materials, we recently introduced a method for incorporating a cyclobutane mechanophore into polymer backbones by radical polymerization that facilitates on-demand polymer degradation through mechanical activation, while maintaining similar materials properties to the unmodified homopolymers.

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