Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology

MSC03 2060
300 Terrace St. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

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Clark Hall

Phone: 505-277-6655

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Seminar:

From Precision and Catalytic Polymer Syntheses to Supramolecular Stereocomplexes, Degradable Plastics and Recyclable Polymers

April 14, 2017

Eugene Chen

Living polymerization methods are common nowadays, but a precision polymer synthesis method that is not only living but also chemoselective and stereoselective is rare. Such an advanced precision polymer synthesis method is especially desirable for many polar vinyl monomers, as it can simultaneously control the polymer architecture, functionality, and microstructure during such polymer synthesis, thus producing novel polymer structures inaccessible by other methods. In this context, this presentation will describe our recent and on-going efforts to develop the precision (living, chemoselective, and stereoselective) polymerization method for polymerizing polar vinyl and multi-vinyl monomers and utilize this method to construct robust crosslinked supramolecular stereocomplexes through self-assembling stereocomplexation between diastereomeric polymer chains carrying functional side chains.

Polymers derived from biorenewable resources, commonly referred as “renewable polymers” or “sustainable polymers” in literature, are not necessarily sustainable or degradable, while degradable polymers are not necessarily recyclable. Polymeric materials in the past were typically designed for performance and price, not for degradability and recyclability. The current practices of recycling of such materials, especially plastics, are largely ineffective, with only ~5% of material value is recovered for subsequent use. Towards addressing this global environmental and economic issue, this talk will present our recent efforts in developing sustainable polymers that are not only biorenewable and degradable but also recyclable, en route to the end goal of eliminating the plastic trash and achieving a circular economy