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Dr. Lawrence Hill
CHEM 340 (Organic Chemistry I)
polymers, nanoparticles, synthesis, self-assembly, electron microscopy
I am interested in using material synthesis and self-assembly to address technological challenges. Students will learn techniques for synthesis of organic polymers and inorganic nanoparticles, as well as characterization including NMR spectroscopy, polymer chromatography, and electron microscopy.
Polymers: One project involves the synthesis of organic building blocks which reversibly self-assemble to form highly porous network architectures. We expect this reversible assembly to enable fabrication of thin films, which would represent a key advance towards the utilization of porous polymer networks. We will seek to control material porosity through systematic variation of structural building units. Gas sorption analysis and permeability tests will then establish structure/property relationships for these materials.
Nanoparticles: Another project investigates the impact of solvent structure on nanoparticle synthesis in ionic liquid media. Ionic liquids are intriguing solvents/ligands for nanoparticles due to dynamic ligand-particle interactions, where these weakly binding ligands afford significantly increased surface availability over traditional synthetic routes. However, synthetic methodologies to control particle structure have not generally been identified for ionic liquid systems. We develop the synthetic toolbox and mechanistic understanding necessary to achieve structural control of nano objects in ionic liquids.
Hybrids: We are also interested in controlling nanoparticle aggregation to affect optoelectronic properties of organic/inorganic hybrid materials. We envision materials which become opaque and/or electronically conductive upon exposure to external stimuli such as light of a certain wavelength, which would be useful in applications involving sensing or low-energy switching.
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