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  • Professor Andrew J. "AJ" Boydston
    11/20/17 -
    10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

    Special Seminar: Professor Andrew J. "AJ" Boydston

    Special Seminar

"Integrated Synthesis, Design, Additive Manufacturing, and Mechanoresponsive Materials"

For this seminar, I hope to discuss two research thrusts from my program: Additive Manufacturing with Mechanoresponsive Materials, and Metal-Free Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization. Our research team focuses on the chemistry of additive manufacturing with emphasis on: 1) incorporation of functional materials, particularly those that respond via conversion of mechanical force into chemical reactivity; 2) expansion of the materials space available for AM; and 3) selective multi-material printing from “all-in-one” mixed-resin vats. As representative examples, we will discuss melt-material extrusion of custom mechanochromic filaments, novel formulations that enable inexpensive and efficient access to elastomeric components via vat photopolymerization, and progress toward parallel photo-radical/photo-cationic printing mechanisms for production of graded materials. Our longer-term research objectives center on the ability to integrate mechanoresponsive materials (molecular- to nanoscale), property gradation or heterogeneity (nano- to microscale), and object geometry (micro- to mesoscale) to answer key scientific questions about the interplay between mechanics (and dynamics) of lattice structures and chemo-mechanical coupling. A major synthetic effort of my program centers on the development of photoredox-mediated, metal-free methods for polymer synthesis. Recently, we discovered that visible light photoredox catalysis is a viable approach for conducting ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of strained cycloalkenes. This divergence from metal-mediated polymerizations introduces a new mechanistic theme for ROMP with unique synthetic outcomes. We will present our fundamental studies on the mechanism of this polymerization and updates on our applications-oriented research toward commercialization.

Research focus

Professor Boydston's research group currently focuses on developments in the areas of electro-organic synthesis, polymer synthesis, mechanochemical transduction, triggered depolymerization, polymers for therapeutic applications, and additive manufacturing (3D printing). Investigations in Professor Boydston's group focus on developing polymers and materials that undergo controlled, autonomic responses to environmental stimuli, particularly mechanical impetus. His group seeks to understand how polymer architecture and composition influence mechanochemical reactivity, and how mechanochemical transduction can be used to design functional materials. Main focus areas include the development of new mechano-responsive functional groups, environmental influences on mechanochemical efficiency, and amplification of chemical reactions driven by the application of force. His group is also targeting new reactions at the interface of electro-organic synthesis and organocatalysis to effect oxidations and reductions of organic substrates in a metal-free manner.

Professor Boydston

Professor Boydston studied chemistry as an undergraduate at the University of Oregon under the guidance of Professor Michael M. Haley. His research focused on the synthesis and study of dehydrobenzoannulenes. After completing Bachelor's and Master's degrees, he began doctoral research at the University of Texas at Austin in the laboratories of Professor Brian L. Pagenkopf. In 2005, Boydston joined the group of Professor Christopher W. Bielawski, also at UT-Austin, and was co-advised by Professor C. Grant Willson. He completed his thesis research focused on the synthesis and applications of annulated bis(imidazolium) chromophores. After graduating in 2007, he moved to Pasadena, California, to take a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral position at the California Institute of Technology. There, he worked under the mentorship of Professor Robert H. Grubbs to develop new catalysts and methods for the synthesis and characterization of functionalized cyclic polymers. He returned to the Pacific Northwest as an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Washington in 2010. His research and teaching efforts have been recognized through the NSF CAREER Award, Army Research Office Young Investigator Award, Cottrell Scholar Award, Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award.

  • Event Details

    Location: Kate & Michael Bárány Conference Room (117/119 Smith Hall)
    Host: Professor Marc Hillmyer
    • Professor Andrew J. "AJ" Boydston
    • AJ Boydston
    • Department of Chemistry
    • University of Washington
    • Seattle