ROMPing In and Out: Synthesis and Self-Assembly of Conjugated H-Shaped Polymers

Julia A. Kalow
Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
NIH NRSA postdoctoral fellow


The synthesis of polymers with well-defined composition and architecture is a key step toward materials with tailored functions and properties. We have developed a straightforward synthesis of miktoarm H-shaped pentabock copolymers by ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP). A variety of norbornene monomers may be used in combination with a telechelic polymer that serves as the central block. Specifically, we have prepared norbornene end-capped poly(3-hexyl)thiophene with narrowly dispersed molecular weight using click chemistry. We have shown that grafting to and from this telechelic P3HT may be accomplished in one pot with minimal crosslinking. The properties and self-assembly of the resulting H-shaped polymer may be tuned by the choice of polynorbornene arms.

About the Speaker: 

Julia grew up in Newton, Massachusetts--unbeknownst to her, just minutes from scientific luminaries like Tim Swager. She completed her undergraduate education at Columbia University, where she studied chemistry and creative writing, then pursued graduate studies in chemistry at Princeton under the direction of Abigail Doyle. There, she developed catalytic enantioselective fluorination reactions, and received her PhD in 2013. She decided to return to her home turf but leave her scientific comfort zone, and is now a NIH NRSA postdoctoral fellow in the Swager lab at MIT.

Date of Talk: 

March 11, 2015