35th Australasian Polymer Symposium (35APS)

We are pleased to announce the 35th Australasian Polymer Symposium which will be held at the QT Hotel, Gold Coast, Australia, on 12-15th July 2015.

Browse the programme

The programme is live so take a look now. Keynote speakers include: Professor David Haddleton, Dr Elodie Bourgeat-Lami and Professor Zhibo Li.

Submit your abstract

There are a range of themes covering many areas of polymer research running throughout the symposium, so check out the themes and submit your abstract now.

Register

Registration is NOW OPEN. Register before 13th March for the Early Bird discount. Sign up for what is sure to be another stimulating polymer science forum in 2015.

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Paper of the week: Precise one-pot synthesis of fully conjugated end-functionalized star polymers containing poly(fluorene-2,7-vinylene) (PFV) arms

Nomura et al. present the one-pot synthesis of star shaped conjugated polymers.

A facile, precise one-pot synthesis of end-functionalized star (triarm) polymers consisting of poly(9,9-di-n-octylfluorene-2,7-vinylene)s (PFVs), the triblock copolymers [by incorporation of tri(2,5-dialkoxy-1,4-phenylene vinylene) or terthiophene units as the middle segment], has been achieved by olefin metathesis followed by Wittig-type coupling. Effects of the PFV conjugation length, the middle segment and the end groups on the emission properties have been studied.

Precise one-pot synthesis of fully conjugated end-functionalized star polymers containing poly(fluorene-2,7-vinylene) (PFV) arms by Kotohiro Nomura, Tahmina Haque, Tomohiro Miwata, Akiko Inagaki and Kenji Takamizu Polym. Chem., 2015,6, 380-388

Remzi Becer is a web-writer and advisory board member for Polymer Chemistry. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Materials Science and the director of the Polymer Science and Nanotechnology masters programme at Queen Mary, University of London. Visit www.becergroup.com for more information.

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Paper of the week: Amphiphilic/fluorous random copolymers as a new class of non-cytotoxic polymeric materials for protein conjugation

Koda et al have developed amphiphilic/fluorous random copolymers bearing poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) chains and perfluorinated alkane pendants as novel non-cytotoxic polymers for protein conjugation.

Three kinds of random copolymers with different initiating terminals (carboxylic acid, pyridyl disulfide, and N-hydroxysuccinimide ester) were prepared by reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) copolymerization of a PEG methyl ether methacrylate and a perfluorinated alkane methacrylate with the corresponding functional chain transfer agents. All of the polymers were soluble in water to form nanostructures with perfluorinated compartments via fluorous interaction: large aggregates from the intermolecular multi-chain association and compact unimer micelles from the intramolecular single-chain folding. Such a PEGylated and perfluorinated random copolymer was non-cytotoxic to NIH 3T3 mouse embryonic fibroblast cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Additionally, a random copolymer with a pyridyl disulfide terminal was also successfully conjugated with a thiolated lysozyme.

Amphiphilic/fluorous random copolymers as a new class of non-cytotoxic polymeric materials for protein conjugation by Yuta Koda, Takaya Terashima, Mitsuo Sawamoto and  Heather D. Maynard Polym. Chem., 2015,6, 240-247.

Remzi Becer is a web-writer and advisory board member for Polymer Chemistry. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Materials Science and the director of the Polymer Science and Nanotechnology masters programme at Queen Mary, University of London. Visit www.becergroup.com for more information.

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Polymer Chemistry Lectureship: Nominations now open

Do you know someone who deserves recognition for their contribution to the polymer field?

Now is your chance to propose they receive the accolade they deserve.

Polymer Chemistry is pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted for its Polymer Chemistry Lectureship 2015.  New in 2015, this award will be run annually by the journal to honour an early-stage career scientist who has made a significant contribution to the polymer field.

Qualification

To be eligible for the Polymer Chemistry Lectureship, the candidate should be in the earlier stages of their scientific career, typically within 15 years of attaining their doctorate or equivalent degree, and will have made a significant contribution to the field.

Description

The recipient of the award will be asked to present a lecture three times, one of which will be located in the home country of the recipient. The Polymer Chemistry Editorial Office will provide the sum of £1000 to the recipient for travel and accommodation costs.

The award recipient will be presented with the award at one of the three award lectures. They will also be asked to contribute a lead article to the journal and will have their work showcased on the back cover of the issue in which their article is published.

Selection

The recipient of the award will be selected and endorsed by the Polymer Chemistry Editorial Board.

Nominations

Those wishing to make a nomination should send details of the nominee, including a brief C.V. (no longer than 2 pages A4) together with a letter (no longer than 2 pages A4) supporting the nomination, to the Polymer Chemistry Editorial Office by 6th March 2015.  Self-nomination is not permitted.

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Author of the Month: Professor Nicola Tirelli

Nicola studied Chemistry at the University of Pisa in Italy, obtaining an MSc in organic and polymer chemistry in 1992 and a PhD in industrial chemistry  in 1996 where he worked under the supervision of Professor Francesco Ciardelli on photochromic and non-linear optically active polymers. During the last year of his PhD he moved to the ETH Zurich, where he joined the group of Ulrich W. Suter in the Department of Materials, first as a visiting researcher and then as a postdoc, focusing on thermally resistant polymers.  After a short spell at the EPF Lausanne, he returned to Zurich in 1999 as an “Oberassistent” in the group of Jeff Hubbell, where he moved into the field of biomaterials and regenerative medicine. He then joined the School of Pharmacy at the University of Manchester in 2003 as a Lecturer and was promoted to Chair in 2005. Since 2010 he has been affiliated to the School of Materials and to that of Medicine at the Institute of Inflammation and Repair. To date, Nicola has published almost 120 research papers, in addition to several reviews and patents.

From a chemical point of view, his interests mainly lie in the design of biologically responsive materials, in form functional surfaces, hydrogels and colloids (nanoparticles, micelles). From a biological perspective, his main focus is on inflammation, and specifically on the control over the inflammatory activation of leukocytes and mesenchymal cells through e.g. the use of Reactive Oxygen Species- responsive materials.

What was your inspiration in becoming a chemist?

For certain chemistry was in my blood, not in my genes though: even including distant relatives I am the only scientist in the family. Although, I cannot deny an academic background: both parents were Middle Ages historians.

Possibly the main attraction of chemistry was its two-face character; a bit like the Roman god Janus. On one side, the interface with physics that provides certainties and allows quantitative predictions; and then a more qualitative side, based on intuitions that border the artistic domain (think of chess-playing like retrosynthetic exercises of organic chemists).

What was the motivation to write your Polymer Chemistry article?

The starting point was a medical need. There are tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of individuals carrying silicone-based implants, which almost inevitably trigger foreign body reactions due to a poor interface with the host. Just think of the number of breast augmentation operations carried out every year to get an idea of the size of the problem.

The study published in Polymer Chemistry originates from the idea to develop new approaches to modify silicone surfaces, since they are very recalcitrant towards controlled chemical functionalisation.

Why did you choose Polymer Chemistry to publish your work? (DOI: 10.1039/C4PY00941J)

A mixed bag of reasons. Principally, Polymer Chemistry is a great home for the rapid publication of studies that employ well-defined polymer architectures. Additionally, this work nicely follows and concludes a first, synthesis-based paper that we published in Polymer Chemistry last year (DOI: 10.1039/C3PY00273J), therefore it just made sense to us to submit this manuscript to the same journal

In which upcoming conferences may our readers meet you?

MRS in Boston, beginning of December 2014.

How do you spend your spare time?

I always feel great in a vegetable or tree garden, ploughing and sowing for example.

I am also an erratic music listener; currently I am quite mad for the brit pop from the ‘90s, but also for baroque and XVIII century music (Corelli, Vivaldi, Bach, Albinoni, down to Mozart). Finally, I have always had a passion for photography, which – sign of the times – is now channelled mostly through my iPhone (https://www.flickr.com/photos/95411832@N05/).

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

Linguist. Always been fascinated by the structure and history of languages.



Surface modification of silicone via colloidal deposition of amphiphilic block copolymers

Polym. Chem., 2014, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C4PY00941J


Cyrille Boyer is a guest web-writer for Polymer Chemistry. He is currently an associate professor and an ARC-Future Fellow in the School of Chemical Engineering, University of New South Wales (Australia) and deputy director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine.


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Paper of the week: RAFT-prepared α-difunctional poly(2-vinyl-4,4-dimethylazlactone)s and their derivatives

Quek et al present the synthesis and effect of end-groups on aqueous inverse temperature solubility of these polymers

A series of five novel R-group di-functional phenyl dithiobenzoates have been prepared and utilized in the controlled reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) radical polymerization of 2-vinyl-4,4-dimethylazlactone (VDMA), yielding a series of homopolymers of similar average degrees of polymerization but variable α-end group functionality. Each of the reactive polyVDMA homopolymers was reacted with four different small molecule amines: dimethylamine, diethylamine, N,N-diethylethylenediamine and tetrahydrofurfurylamine yielding a series of novel end-functional materials. The effect of the end-groups on the inverse temperature dependent aqueous solubility of the formally hydrophilic homopolymers was then measured and compared to similar materials prepared with benzylpropyltrithiocarbonate as the RAFT agent. In virtually all instances, the introduction of the twin α-end-groups resulted in overall more hydrophobic species that exhibited cloud points spanning the range 25.1–42.7 °C. Importantly, there was a strong influence on the nature of the end groups and the associated solubility characteristics with, in some cases, cloud point behaviour only being observed in polymers with twin end groups while those derived from benzylpropyltrithiocarbonate were fully soluble.

RAFT-prepared α-difunctional poly(2-vinyl-4,4-dimethylazlactone)s and their derivatives: synthesis and effect of end-groups on aqueous inverse temperature solubility by Jing Yang Quek, Xuechao Liu, Thomas P. Davis, Peter J. Roth and Andrew B. Lowe Polym. Chem., 2015,6, 118-127

Remzi Becer is a web-writer and advisory board member for Polymer Chemistry. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Materials Science and the director of the Polymer Science and Nanotechnology masters programme at Queen Mary, University of London. Visit www.becergroup.com for more information.

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Author of the Month: Prof. Jianzhong Du

Prof. Jianzhong Du is currently leading a polymer chemistry research group at Tongji University, Shanghai, China. He received his PhD from the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2004, and then moved to the University of Sheffield as a postdoctoral fellow with Steve Armes. He held an Alexander von Humboldt research fellow position in Germany in 2006 before moving to Cambridge University in 2008 where he worked as a research associate with Rachel O’Reilly. He was appointed as an ‘Eastern Scholar’ professorship in 2009 and set up his own research group at Tongji University in 2010. His research interests include the synthesis, self-assembly and applications of smart and functional polymers, with a particular interest in polymer vesicles (polymersomes). Currently, he is focusing on the synthesis of designer polymeric materials for water remediation, biocatalysis, biomacromolecules delivery, and antibacterial delivery vehicles (“armed carriers”).

Research website: http://web.tongji.edu.cn/~jzdu/English/index.html

What was your inspiration in becoming a chemist?

In my eyes my mother is a natural “chemist”. As a young child my first inspiration to become a chemist was my mother’s fantastic home-made food—Tofu and sweet malt. I enjoyed helping her harvest soya beans in the field and seeing how she made delicious Tofu for us at home. It was really exciting to witness how the yellow soya beans turned into white Tofu after drying, smashing (by me!), dispersion in boiling water, filtration (to form soya bean milk), flocculation by calcined gypsum (actually I didn’t know it was CaSO4 until I learned basic chemistry in middle school), and further filtration to remove excess water (sometimes I stood on the board on top of the Tofu to accelerate this process!). The procedure for making sweet malt at home is much more complicated than Tofu but I mastered it before the age of ten. Those traditional Chinese food technologies have thousands of years of history but are full of principles from modern chemistry. My mother carried out those complicated “chemical reactions” based on experience (no measuring tools needed). It was a task full of fun and curiosity for a young boy to participate in. At that time I didn’t know any chemical principles but could see the excellent “results” achieved by my mother. After learning chemistry, I gradually understood why gypsum should be calcined before adding it to the soya bean milk, how Ca2+ interacts with protein to form Tofu, and the magic power of green malt in making sweets starting from rice. I think it is the everyday chemistry in my childhood that inspired me to become a chemist.

What was the motivation to write your Polymer Chemistry article? ( DOI: c4py00501e)

Our group has an active program in the synthesis and self-assembly of homopolymers. Compared with well-investigated block copolymers, homopolymers have been considered as a non-ideal building block for self-assembly due to their fuzzy boundary between hydrophobic and hydrophilic moieties. However, we think this unique fuzzy boundary may provide some new opportunities in both self-assembly mechanisms and preparation of functional nanomaterials. Furthermore, it is a challenge to self-assemble hydrophilic homopolymers in pure water into nanostructures. Therefore, we incorporated one terminal alkynyl group into hydrophilic homopolymers to drive their unusual self-assembly in aqueous solution to form a range of nanostructures such as multicompartment vesicles, spherical compound micelles and flower-like complex particles.

Why did you choose Polymer Chemistry to publish your work?

Polymer Chemistry is an excellent forum for scientists working in a wide range of sectors, especially for polymer chemists. More and more people are reading this journal. The editorial and publishing teams are well-organised and the dissemination time is short.

In which upcoming conferences may our readers meet you?

National Congress of Chinese Chemical Society 2014 in Beijing and Macro 2014 in Thailand

How do you spend your spare time?

I have an eight year old son who is learning piano and badminton. So in my spare time, I am his piano and badminton training partner. My hobbies include Chinese traditional literature, jogging and cooking.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

If not a chemist I would be a writer or a network engineer.


Read Jianzhong Du’s latest paper:

How does a tiny terminal alkynyl end group drive fully hydrophilic homopolymers to self-assemble into multicompartment vesicles and flower-like complex particles?

Polym. Chem., 2014,5, 5077-5088, DOI: 10.1039/C4PY00501E


Cyrille Boyer is a guest web-writer for Polymer Chemistry. He is currently an associate professor and an ARC-Future Fellow in the School of Chemical Engineering, University of New South Wales (Australia) and deputy director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine.


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Author of the Month: Dr Elodie Bourgeat-Lami

Dr. Elodie Bourgeat-Lami graduated in 1988 from the National School of Chemistry of Mulhouse, France, and received a Masters degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Haute Alsace. She obtained her PhD degree in 1991 from the University of Montpellier II, Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc, France, on the Study of the Physicochemical and Catalytic Properties of Zeolite Beta. Following her doctorate, she joined CNRS as a junior scientist. Currently, she is CNRS research director at the Laboratory of Chemistry, Catalysis, Polymers and Processes (C2P2) located at the Ecole Supérieure de Chimie Physique Electronique de Lyon (CPE) in Villeurbanne, France. Her research interests are focused on the fundamental and practical aspects involved in the synthesis of organic/inorganic colloidal materials with special emphasis on radical polymerization in dispersed media, surface functionalization of mineral oxide particles and sol-gel chemistry. Her research also includes activities on the synthesis of novel hybrid macromolecular architectures through controlled radical polymerization (CRP) and on the implementation of CRP techniques in aqueous dispersed media for the design of novel hybrid functional colloids for various types of applications.

What was your inspiration in becoming a chemist?

Being a chemist was not a vocation I initially intended but rather a decision that imposed itself incidentally. However the idea of being a researcher always appealed to me and I remember specifically having mentioned it as something I wanted to do while I was completing my PhD dissertation. Things then really kicked off for me and I have been truly lucky. Research is lot more than a vocation, it is a passion!

What was the motivation to write your Polymer Chemistry article?

RAFT polymerization has received increasing attention within the past decade due to the versatility, simplicity and robustness of this technique. Quite recently, RAFT has been extended to the elaboration of organic/inorganic hybrid materials, notably in aqueous dispersed media. The reported strategies mainly aim at forming an encapsulating polymer shell around inorganic particles and so far little attention has been paid to the living character of the polymerization. This work follows our previous study on the encapsulation of CeO2 particles via this technique (Zgheib et al. Polymer Chemistry 2013, 4, 607), and was intended to demonstrate the benefits of this macroRAFT-mediated process to control the growth of organic monomers in ab initio emulsion polymerization systems and attain particle morphologies that are otherwise difficult to achieve. It is part of a larger collaborative research project currently under way in our laboratory, dedicated to the synthesis of organic/inorganic anisotropic particles using this strategy.

Why did you choose Polymer Chemistry to publish your work? (DOI: 10.1039/C4PY00362D)

Polymer Chemistry currently ranks as one of the most important journals for polymer science. From the beginning, it has benefited from a high impact factor, which highlights the attention that its articles receive from the scientific community. Submitting our work to reputable journals is important for us to ensure its maximum exposure within the polymer world and to hopefully encourage further breakthroughs in the area.

In which upcoming conferences may our readers meet you?

I will very likely attend the fourth international conference on multifunctional hybrids and nanomaterials in Sitges (Spain) (March 9-13, 2015). This conference takes place every two years and is a highlight for everyone working on hybrid materials.

How do you spend your spare time?

I love traveling, hiking and exploring the world. One of my favorite hobbies is taking photos and capturing the magic of wonderful places and moments surrounded by family and friends. I also love sports, decorating my house by mixing traditional and modern styles, and spending long periods of time in the stillness of nature to energize myself.

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?

When I was 18, I wanted to be a lawyer or an architect. As a researcher, I often have the opportunity to write or evaluate projects and defend them like a lawyer. In those moments, I can freely express my advocacy skills! The chemist, as the architect of matter, can design and create very complex structures. Creating novel nanoparticles or complex colloidal systems as building blocks for new materials and functions is not like building a house but one can certainly find some analogies…


Read Elodie’s latest paper:

Synthesis of multi-hollow clay-armored latexes by surfactant-free emulsion polymerization of styrene mediated by poly(ethylene oxide)-based macroRAFT/Laponite complexes

Thiago Rodrigues Guimarães, Thaissa de Camargo Chaparro, Franck D’Agosto, Muriel Lansalot, Amilton Martins Dos Santos and  Elodie Bourgeat-Lami

Polym. Chem., 2014, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C4PY00362D

Abstract: This paper reports the surfactant-free emulsion polymerization of styrene mediated by a trithiocarbonate poly(ethylene oxide)-based macromolecular RAFT agent  in the presence of Laponite clay platelets.



Cyrille Boyer is a guest web-writer for Polymer Chemistry. He is currently an Associate Professor, an ARC-Future Fellow in the School of Chemical Engineering, University of New South Wales (Australia), member of CAMD and deputy director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine (ACN).

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Polymer Chemistry Poster Prize Winner at Macromex 2014

Congratulations to Dr Alejandro Giminez, the Polymer Chemistry Poster Prize Winner at Macromex 2014

Congratulations go to Dr Alejandro Gimenez who won the Polymer Chemistry Poster Prize at Macromex 2014, which was held on the 3-6 December 2014 in Nuevo Vallarta, Jalisco, México. Alejandro received a year’s subscription to Polymer Chemistry, which will help him keep up to date with the most exciting developments in the field.

Alejandro is based in Mexico at CINVESTAV, the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute. His research interests lie in materials science, carbon nanotubes and surfactant science and technology.

Alejandro J. Gimenez Polymer Chemistry Poster Prize Winner

Dr Alejandro J. Gimenez, left, receiving his Polymer Chemistry Poster Prize from Prof Brent Summerlin

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Paper of the week: Pristine and thermally rearranged gas separation membranes

Ma et al present the pristine and thermally rearranged gas separation membranes.

A novel o-hydroxyl-functionalized spirobifluorene-based diamine monomer, 2,2′-dihydroxyl-9,9′-spirobifluorene-3,3′-diamine (HSBF), was successfully prepared by a universal synthetic method. Two o-hydroxyl-containing polyimides, denoted as 6FDA-HSBF and SPDA-HSBF, were synthesized and characterized. The BET surface areas of 6FDA-HSBF and SPDA-HSBF are 70 and 464 m2 g−1, respectively. To date, SPDA-HSBF exhibits the highest CO2 permeability (568 Barrer) among all hydroxyl-containing polyimides. The HSBF-based polyimides exhibited higher CO2/CH4 selectivity than their spirobifluorene (SBF) analogues (42 for 6FDA-HSBF vs. 27 for 6FDA-SBF) due to an increase in their diffusivity selectivity. Polybenzoxazole (PBO) membranes obtained from HSBF-based polyimide precursors by thermal rearrangement showed enhanced permeability but at the cost of significantly decreased selectivity.

Pristine and thermally-rearranged gas separation membranes from novel o-hydroxyl-functionalized spirobifluorene-based polyimides by Xiaohua Ma, Octavio Salinas, Eric Litwiller and Ingo Pinnau Polym. Chem., 2014,5, 6914-6922.

DOI: 10.1039/C4PY01221F

Remzi Becer is a web-writer and advisory board member for Polymer Chemistry. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Materials Science and the director of the Polymer Science and Nanotechnology masters programme at Queen Mary, University of London. Visit www.becergroup.com for more information.

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