CBE Colloquia  - Bottom-up Design and Synthesis of Functional Polymeric Materials via Dynamic Covalent Chemistry

4:30pm - 6:00pm

Dynamic covalent chemistry (DCvC) has proven to be highly effective toward the construction of well-defined molecular and polymeric architectures. The error-correction mechanism enabled by the reversible formation of dynamic covalent bonds leads to the formation of structurally ordered, thermodynamically favored species. One such example is the solvothermal synthesis of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) with periodic structural order and low defect density. The chemical compositions of such frameworks are usually well-defined and inter-monomer connectivity (covalent bonding) is robust. Bottom-up synthesis of covalently linked polymers through DCvC has many critical advantages, such as easy tunability of functional and structural properties in a controlled fashion through rational design of the precursors, formation of highly stable linkages, minimized structural defect, and possible access to sophisticated architectures that are hard to obtain otherwise. This talk will focus on our recent progress in the development of three types of DCvC, namely alkyne metathesis, spiroborate exchange and dynamic nucleophilic aromatic substitution (DySNAr). These powerful synthetic tools enabled the bottom-up design and synthesis of novel polymeric materials, such as unprecedented single-crystal DNA-like helical covalent polymers (HCPs), a novel carbon allotrope, and closed-loop recyclable thermosets.

Event Format
Speakers / Performers:
Prof. Wei ZHANG
University of Colorado

Dr. Wei Zhang received his B.S. in Chemistry from Peking University in 2000, and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with Prof. Jeffrey Moore in 2005. After conducting his postdoctoral research at MIT with Prof. Timothy Swager, he started his independent career at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at University of Colorado Boulder in 2008. Currently he is a full professor and serves as the Department Chair. Dr. Zhang’s research is focused on utilizing dynamic covalent chemistry to develop novel organic and hybrid functional materials for a broad range of environmental and energy applications, such as carbon capture, light harvesting, energy storage, catalysis, and development of closed-loop recyclable thermosets and functional composites. He has received numerous awards/recognitions in his independent career, such as University New Inventor of the Year, 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, CAPA Distinguished Junior Faculty Award, NSF CAREER Award, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, Provost’s Faculty Achievement Award, Guest Professorship at ETH Zürich, with the most recent election as a 2023 Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and receipt of the 2022 American Chemical Society (ACS) Colorado Section Award and 2023 College Scholar Award.

Recommended For
Faculty and staff
PG students
Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
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