Research Overview

Due to ever-growing demand for energy and clean water as well as pressing societal challenges such as plastic pollution, sustainability has become an ever-present global concern. Polymers are unique materials that can form well-defined structures with desired properties, offering potential strategies to resolve these grand challenges. Our research program locates at the interface of chemistry, materials science, and polymer engineering. Specifically, we leverage our expertise in synthetic chemistry as well as polymer processing and characterization to synthesize and engineer nanostructured polymeric materials for advanced applications that can directly contribute to energy, the environment and sustainability. We also pursue fundamental studies on their structure-property relationships which can enable us to better design and engineer these materials. A particular strength of our research program will be the ability to use dynamic chemistries and structures to promote polymer processing and design materials with innovative properties such as adaptable materials.

Our current research thrusts include:

  1. 3D printing highly engineered polymer nanocomposites with directed structure and transport behavior
  2. Exploiting structure or molecular dynamics arising from confining polymers to the nanoscale
  3. Engineering nanoporous covalent organic frameworks for water purification and gas storage applications
  4. Developing future recyclable or biodegradable polymers to promote a circular plastic economy

Our current research is funded by: