Campus Box 3290 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3290, USA

Research Polymer/Materials

Polymer/Materials Research

Many challenging problems in the modern science and technology are related to preparation, properties, and utilization of novel functional materials. The polymer chemistry and the chemical microelectronics programs represent parts of the multidisciplinary effort in this field. The many-pronged approach includes: synthesis and molecular characterization of well-defined block and graft copolymers; preparation of new engineering thermoplastics and liquid crystalline materials; synthesis, modification and processing of polymers in super-critical carbon dioxide; chemical design of hybrid polymers for catalysis and photoredox activity, polymers for microelectronics applications including 193 nm and 157 nm photoresists and low-k dielectrics, and defined microstructures.

Research projects span a wide range of chemical analysis science and include, but are not limited to, biosensors, nanoscopic materials, neurochemistry, microvolume separations and analysis, protein adsorption, supercritical fluids and single-molecule analysis; for examples of currently active research projects please see the list below. The division has strong relationships with a large number of companies in the pharmaceutical, chemical and scientific instrumentation industries, which provide continued support of research fellowships and the Analytical Seminar series.

Recent Research Results

Talented Twelve

Earlier this semester, Carolina Chemistry's Frank Leibfarth was selected as a 2019 Chemical & Engineering News's "Talented Twelve..."

Jeromy Rech

Jeromy Rech, a Carolina Chemistry doctoral student, recognizes how influential teaching and mentorship can be in making major life decisions...

Better Solar Cells

With efficiencies of polymer solar cells reaching new heights, finding further methods to increase performance is very important. A typical approach to...

Representative Publications

Polymer Powerhouse is Tapping Organic Chemistry Insights to Build Better Plastics.
Bethany Halford.
C&EN News, 97, 33

Alcohol Mediated Degenerate Chain Transfer Controlled Cationic Polymerisation of Para-Alkoxystyrene.
Alka Prasher, Huamin Hu, Joji Tanaka, David A. Nicewicz and Wei You.
Polym. Chem., 2019,10, 4126-4133

Utilizing Difluorinated Thiophene Units To Improve the Performance of Polymer Solar Cells.
Jeromy J. Rech, Liang Yan, Zhengxing Peng, Shuixing Dai, Xiaowei Zhan, Harald Ade, Wei You.
Macromolecules, Publication Date:August 22, 2019, 6523-6532

A Dinuclear Mechanism Implicated in Controlled Carbene Polymerization.
Aleksandr V. Zhukhovitskiy, Ilia J. Kobylianskii, Andy A. Thomas, Austin M. Evans, Connor P. Delaney, Nathan C. Flanders, Scott E. Denmark, William R. Dichtel, F. Dean Toste.
J. Am. Chem. Soc.2019141166473-6478

Upcycling Aromatic Polymers through C–H Fluoroalkylation.
Sally E. Lewis, Bradley E. Wilhelmy, and Frank A. Leibfarth.
Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article, DOI 10.1039/C9SC01425J

Optical Bound States in the Continuum with Nanowire Geometric Superlattices.
Seokhyoung Kim, Kyoung-Ho Kim, and James F. Cahoon.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 122, 187402 – Published 10 May 2019

Synthetic Control over Orientational Degeneracy of Spacer Cations Enhances Solar Cell Efficiency in Two-Dimensional Perovskites.
Jun Hu, Iain W. H. Oswald, Samuel J. Stuard, Masrur Morshed Nahid, Ninghao Zhou, Olivia F. Williams, Zhenkun Guo, Liang Yan, Huamin Hu, Zheng Chen, Xun Xiao, Yun Lin, Zhibin Yang, Jinsong Huang, Andrew M. Moran, Harald Ade, James R. Neilson, and Wei You.
ACS Appl. Polym. Mater., 2019, 1 (4), pp 804–814

Green-Solvent-Processed Conjugated Polymers for Organic Solar Cells: The Impact of Oligoethylene Glycol Side Chains.
Zheng Chen, Liang Yan, Jeromy James Rech, Jun Hu, Qianqian Zhang, and Wei You.
ACS Appl. Polym. Mater., 2019, 1 (4), pp 804–814

Catalyst-Controlled Stereoselective Cationic Polymerization of Vinyl Ethers.
A. J. Teator, F. A. Leibfarth.
Science 29 Mar 2019, Vol. 363, Issue 6434, pp. 1439-1443