New Polymers from Old Monomers: Advances Enabled through Catalyst Design and Discovery
Although the chemical, physical, and mechanical properties of a polymer are the most vital factors in determining utility, another important constraint that must be considered is the cost of the material. The best way to create inexpensive new polymers is to start with large-scale commodity monomers, rather than rely on the development of new-to-the-world monomers. The focus of our work is the development of new synthetic methods for polymer synthesis, where known organic feedstocks are combined in alternative ways to make new macromolecular materials. We accomplish this through the development of metal-based catalysts that exhibit unique reactivity. In this presentation, the discovery, development and application of new catalysts for polymerization will be presented. The development of new methods for the synthesis of sustainable polymers will also be discussed.