8 February 2013
Venue: Room 1439, 20 Symonds Street, The University of Auckland
Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski Carnegie Mellon University
Macromolecular engineering is based on precise design, synthesis, processing and characterisation of targeted materials for specific applications.
Many advanced nanostructured functional materials were recently designed and prepared by controlled/ living radical polymerization (CRP). More than 100 million tons of polymers are produced annually world-wide by conventional radical polymerization (i.e., ~ 20 kg per capita!). However, macromolecular engineering is impossible in this process, because radicals are very reactive intermediates and their lifetime is less than a second. In order to temper this uncontrolled radical behavior, we introduced a new concept of extending life of propagating chains from ca. 1 second to more than 1 day, by inserting a dormant period of ~ 1 minute after each ~ 1 ms activity. Thus, the 1 second of radical activity is expanded, as in an accordion, to several hours with thousands intermediate dormancy periods. This would be like extending human life from 70 years to 2000 years, if after each 1 day of activity we could be dormant for 1 month.
CRP of acrylates, methacrylates, styrenes, acrylamides, acrylonitrile and other vinyl monomers was employed for macromolecular engineering of polymers with precisely controlled molecular weights, low dispersities, designed shape, composition and functionality. Examples of block, graft, star, hyperbranched, gradient and periodic copolymers, molecular brushes and various hybrid materials and bioconjugates prepared with high precision will be presented. These polymers can be used as components of various advanced materials such as health and beauty products, biomedical and electronic materials, coatings, elastomers, adhesives, surfactants, dispersants, lubricants, additives, or sealants.
All are welcome to this public lecture.