Designing Polymers for Strength and Photodegradation

Graphical Abstract

Our new paper on strong yet UV degradable polymers is out in the Journal of the American Chemistry Society. This work was led by PhD candidate Bryce M. Lipinski in the Coates group. He devised a synthesis approach for isotactic poly(propylene oxide) in order to produce a material that demonstrates immense strain hardening. This iPPO not only has a strength matching that of Nylon-6,6, it also can be degraded by UV light, thereby providing a pathway for designing in lifetime and minimizing long term environmental impact.

Metallopolymers work out in Macromolecules

TOC_6_flatFormer postdoc Yuval Vidavsky and current Phd student Michael Buche’s combined experimental and DFT study on metallopolymers is now out in Macromolecules. This work, which was co-advised by Prof Robert DiStasio from Cornell’s chemistry department, introduces the idea of using neutral nitrogen-based ligands to modulate the stiffness, strength, and reversibility of metal-coordination bond-based crosslinks and thereby tailor the overall mechanical properties. Chemistry PhD student Zach Sparrow from DiStasio’s group was critical in establishing the DFT methodology and running analyses.

Two new collaborative publications

Two papers are now available online:

The first, in Chemical Science, led by Stephanie Rosenbloom from Prof Brett Fors’ group is titled “Tailor-made thermoplastic elastomers: customizable materials via modulation of molecular weight distributions”.This is part of our ongoing collaboration with the Fors group on the mechanical properties of tailored polymers.

The second, in Frontiers in Chemistry, led by Dr. Sanaz Farajollahi of the Air Force Research Lab, is titled “Disulfide crosslinked hydrogels made from the Hydra stinging cell protein Minicollagen-1“. This first step into synthetic biology for our group came from Steven Yang’s work at AFRL this past summer.

Goodbye and welcome

Goodbye and good luck to former postdoctoral associate Yuval Vidavsky and newly minted PhD Suwon Bae as they move on to the next phase in their careers.

MAE and MSE PhD student matching are now complete and we are pleased to welcome three new PhD students into the MMD lab: Hongyi Cai, Srikar Srivasta, and Zhongtong Wang. Guess we need a new, new group photo – this one’s from the transition.IMG_0007

 

SES conference

Graduate students Steven Yang and Michael Buche and Prof Silberstein all presented at the annual Society of Engineering Science Conference at Washington University in St. Louis last week (no minivan this time).Michael SES

Alwany wins ELI award

Congratulations to Alwany for winning an Engineering Learning Initiatives undergraduate research grant! Alwany will be working on a high throughput approach to measuring the stiffness of gels.

NY State Fair 2019

The MMD lab spent a very rainy Wednesday in the 4-H Youth Building at the NY State Fair encouraging the next generation of polymer mechanics enthusiasts. As always, our silly putty making was a hit.

(Note: This animal did not participate in the making of silly putty.)