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Dr. Josh Worch, University of Birmingham (UK) – Materials Science Faculty Search Seminar

December 2, 2021 @
12:15 p.m.
- 1:15 p.m. Eastern Time
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Speaker: Dr. Josh Worch, Ph.D.
School of Chemistry
University of Birmingham (UK)
Title:  Step-growth polymerization and cis/trans isomerism: Vintage chemistry for next-generation materials
Abstract: The stereochemistry within synthetic polymer backbones influences the physical and mechanical properties of the resultant bulk materials. Modern approaches to produce stereocontrolled polymers have relied heavily on chain-growth polymerization methods to manipulate the tacticity (or chirality) of pendant groups. The investigation of cis/trans (geometric) isomerism in the context of synthetic polymers is comparatively overlooked, however Click step-growth polymerizations present an attractive method to access high performance isomeric polymers. The talk will feature efforts to establish structure-property relationships in Click step-growth polymers possessing well-defined geometric isomerism which originates from the planar rigidity imparted by double bonds or ring units. Specifically, there will be an emphasis on the impact of stereochemistry to thermomechanical properties and/or degradability in the context of sustainable polymers and biomedical materials. Our investigations show that opposing fundamental material behavior (i.e. plastic vs elastic) can be achieved by only adjusting the stereochemical content of the polymer. This affords opportunities to create material portfolios where polymers are compositionally analogous yet display divergent physical properties. Moreover, in some cases the polymers display added interesting properties including photodegradability and shape memory behavior. Exquisite control of geometric isomerism within polymer backbones provides a powerful approach to creating versatile functional materials.
Host: Professor Luis Smith
Time: 12:15pm
Sackler Sciences Center
Room S121
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December 2, 2021
12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.