04/25/17 -9:45 AM to 11:00 AM
Student Seminar Series: Professor Stephen Miller
Student Seminar Series
Our research group is focused on the synthesis and characterization of novel polymers. Two main research areas are explored.
The synthesis of new polymers from readily available biorenewable feedstocks with the specific intent of mimicking commodity thermoplastics. We use chemical approaches to innovate new polymers, focusing on the origin (birth), properties (life), and degradation (death) of eco-friendly and sustainable materials. By incorporating less-studied functional groups into the polymer chain, novel polymer behaviors can be effected. For example, water-degradable polymers can be constructed that do not require the more stringent conditions of biodegradation.
The development of organometallic, single-site catalysts for the polymerization of olefins to polyolefins having novel structure and properties. The catalytic behavior of single-site catalysts can be precisely tuned to afford interesting and commercially promising materials from simple and inexpensive olefins. We target syndiotactic polymers, branched-polyethylene, elastomeric polyolefins, and a variety of copolymers that can only be achieved with carefully engineered organometallic catalysts.