Radical polymerisations play a key role in both commercial and fundamental research with it being in 45% of international polymer production at 100 million tons per year.
However, radical polymerisations still suffer from synthetic drawbacks, such as all-carbon polymer backbones, which prevent their (bio)degradability.
In this project, we'll develop novel polymers which can be programmed towards controlled degradability.
Towards this goal, you'll develop a polymerisation technique that allows to incorporate small natural building blocks (i.e. peptides) into synthetic polymers. These peptide sequences will carry the information load encoded into these polymers.
This project will teach you the synthesis of small molecules and large polymers.
- design functional molecular structures
- plan a strategy for the synthesis
- use the toolbox of organic chemistry to synthesise those novel molecules.
Subsequently, those functional molecules will be tested for their performance as monomers in radical polymerisations.
We're looking to develop novel plastics, which nature can fully degrade if they're not recycled properly and end up in the environment.
Skills and experience
Are you highly motivated to learn new skills in synthetic chemistry and keen to participate in cutting-edge science? If so, you're the perfect candidate for this project.
You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.
Contact the supervisor for more information.