Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Precision and Efficiency in Macromolecular Synthesis: New Strategies and Enabling Functions
Motivated by nature, polymer chemists have long sought methods and strategies for the synthesis of macromolecules with precise structures. Existing approaches typically require a trade-off between structural control and atom economy/scalability. Driven by specific fundamental questions and/or functional targets, we have developed strategies that simultaneously offer enhanced precision and efficiency in a variety of contexts within the broader field of macromolecular synthesis. This talk will highlight several of these efforts. Specifically, iterative exponential growth plus sidechain functionalization (IEG+), brush-first ring-opening metathesis polymerization, N-heterocyclic carbene surface anchors, photo-redox catalyzed growth, and network disassembly spectrometry will be introduced. The advantages of these approaches for achieving new or otherwise difficult-to-access macromolecular functions will be discussed.