Polymer and organic materials chemistry: synthesis of multicomponent polymers, self-assembly and nanomaterials, chemical upcycling of polymers
Our research program embraces all the steps of a successful materials design, from building tailored polymer structures and architectures to analyzing their supramolecular organization to testing their macroscale properties. We synthesize complex macromolecular architectures and study how these molecules come together to form a solid state material or discrete assemblies in solution. Over the years, we have developed extensive synthetic expertise that allows us to push the limits of what is achievable in terms of creating multicomponent macromolecules with well-defined dimensions, shapes and compositions. We are using these macromolecules as building blocks to create nanostructured materials to benefit a variety of applications where nanoscale domains play a critical role in dictating the function of the material. At the same time, recognizing a major societal challenge, we are developing chemistry tools to convert commodity plastic waste into valuable materials. Our group's fundamental research in synthetic chemistry, molecular design and assembly helps global efforts in developing nanostructured materials for filtration, water purification, and energy storage, as well as polymer upcycling. A number of established collaborative efforts have helped us to enhance our structural characterization capabilities and develop materials for functional applications.