As physical and synthetic chemists, we are interested in understanding how the molecular-scale chemistry of polymeric materials connects to their bulk properties. Some of our current research interests include:
Polyelectrolyte Complexes and Coacervates
Polyelectrolyte complex coacervates are a fascinating class of polymer-rich materials formed by associative phase separation of oppositely-charged polyelectrolytes. We are studying how the phase behavior and materials properties of these materials depend on the polymer composition, with an eye to understanding how molecular-scale interactions (such as hydrophobic interactions, or interactions between adjacent charges) scale to the bulk material.
Mechanochemistry in Ordered Networks
Using polymeric handles to apply force across chemical bonds is a promising route to controlling many types of reactions. We are studying how polymer architecture affects the molecular-scale force distributions that arise when a bulk sample is deformed. We hope to use this knowledge to establish "design rules" that help others use polymeric materials as platforms for efficient mechanochemical activation.
Check back for other projects as we get them posted!