Chemistry - Faculty
- Assistant Professor
CHEM 340 (Organic Chemistry I)
CHEM 341 (Organic Chemistry I Lab)
CHEM 342 (Organic Chemistry II)
Synthesis of polymers, nanoparticles, and ionic liquids
I am interested in the design and synthesis of nanoscopic objects with multiple components for future technologies. Students can learn techniques for synthesis of organic polymers, inorganic nanoparticles, and ionic liquids, as well as characterization including NMR spectroscopy, polymer chromatography, and electron microscopy.
Polymers: We are interested in the synthesis of organic polymers that incorporate redox active functionalities using free radical and controlled radical polymerization methods. We are currently investigating polymethacrylates incorporating a novel initiator that will trigger polymer degradation in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. We aim to polymerize this degradable initiator with differing feed ratios of antioxidant monomers to create materials with tunable degradation profiles under biologically-relevant oxidizing conditions. These types of materials could be used in drug delivery to release medicine preferentially in oxygen-rich areas of the body.
Nanoparticles: Controlling nanoparticle structure and surface availability are crucial for improving catalyst properties in applications such as conversion of solar energy to fuels or utilization of CO2. We synthesize and use specifically designed ionic liquids as solvents/ligands for nanoparticle synthesis to increase the surface availability and performance of nanoparticle catalysts over traditional synthetic routes. We are developing a synthetic toolbox of novel, task-specific, ionic liquids with functionalities appropriate for controlling nanoparticle structure.