Polymer Chemistry Impact Factor rises to 5.37

We are delighted to announce that, according to the latest Journal Citation Reports®, Polymer Chemistry’s Impact Factor* has increased to 5.368.

This is a great indication of the continued strength of Polymer Chemistry as it approaches its 5th anniversary, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all our readers, authors, referees and board members for their support and engagement with the journal.

Even better news, the journal’s Immediacy Index# has risen to an impressive 1.713, the highest of all primary research journals in the Polymer Science category by some way.

Polymer Chemistry 2013 Immediacy Index

Immediacy Index is a measure of how quickly after publication articles in a journal are cited.  Polymer Chemistry’s high number indicates that articles are being cited very quickly, and is testament to the high visibilty and relevance of the articles we publish to the polymer community.

So, to make sure your next polymer synthesis paper is seen and cited by fellow polymer chemists, we recommend submitting it to Polymer Chemistry!


Polymer Chemistry wasn’t the only Royal Society of Chemistry journal to see an increase in its Impact Factor this year.  Find a full list of our journals and their 2013 Impact Factors in this blog post.

*The Impact Factor provides an indication of the average number of citations per paper. Produced annually, Impact Factors are calculated by dividing the number of citations in a year by the number of citeable articles published in the preceding two years.

#Immediacy Index is the numbers of citations in a given year to papers published in that year.

Data based on 2013 Journal Citation Reports®, (Thomson Reuters, 2014).

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Paper of the week: Hybrid organic–inorganic copolymers with self-healing properties

‘Over the last decade, a broad range of self-healing materials has emerged. Such systems, when they have been damaged, heal themselves either spontaneously or with the aid of a stimulus. Several of these materials draw their inspiration from the design of biological materials. On the other hand, hybrid materials or nanocomposites, defined as composites constituted of two components, one inorganic and the other one organic in nature mixed at the nanometer level, have attracted strong interest both in academia and industry. The combination at the nanoscale of organic and inorganic components leads to highly homogeneous materials, which develop extended organic–inorganic interfaces with tuneable chemical organic–inorganic bonds from weak to strong interactions.’

Graphical abstract: Nano-building block based-hybrid organic–inorganic copolymers with self-healing properties

In this work, Rozes and co-workers prepared new dynamic materials, that can repair themselves after strong damage, by hybridization of polymers with structurally well-defined nanobuilding units. The controlled design of cross-linked poly(n-butyl acrylate) (PnBA) has been performed by introducing a very low amount of a specific tin oxo-cluster. Sacrificial domains with non-covalent interactions (i.e. ionic bonds) developed at the hybrid interface play a double role. Such interactions are strong enough to cross-link the polymer, which consequently exhibits rubber-like elasticity behavior, and labile enough to enable, after severe mechanical damage, dynamic bond recombination leading to an efficient healing process at room temperature. In agreement with the nature of the reversible links at the hybrid interface, the healing process can speed up considerably with temperature .

Nano-building block based-hybrid organic–inorganic copolymers with self-healing properties by F. Potier, A. Guinault, S. Delalande, C. Sanchez, F. Ribot and L. Rozes, Polym. Chem. 2014, 5, 4474-4479.

Julien Nicolas is a web-writer and advisory board member for Polymer Chemistry. He currently works at Univ. Paris-Sud (FR) as a CNRS researcher.

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Paper of the week: Cu(0)-mediated polymerization using high-throughput experimentation

‘Over the past decades, several types of controlled radical polymerization methods have been developed. The most popular methods are atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization and nitroxide mediated polymerization (NMP). One of the more recently developed techniques, which appears to be very promising, is Cu(0)-mediated polymerization, known variously as SET-LRP or SARA-ATRP. Recent publications have shown significant progress in the area of Cu(0)-mediated polymerization. Among the monomers that have been polymerized in a controlled manner via Cu(0)-mediated polymerization are acrylates, methacrylates, vinyl chloride and (meth)acrylamides. However, for each monomer the polymerization conditions should be optimized, which is in general a very time consuming task.’

Graphical abstract: Cu(0)-mediated polymerization of hydrophobic acrylates using high-throughput experimentation

In this work, Hoogenboom and co-workers report the optimization of the Cu(0)-mediated polymerization of n-butyl acrylate (BA) and 2-methoxyethyl acrylate (MEA) via Cu(0)-mediated polymerization using an automated parallel synthesizer.  Using this robot, up to 16 kinetic reactions could be performed in parallel, resulting in a fast screening of different reaction conditions. Several parameters were optimized to determine the optimal reaction conditions with regard to control over the polymerization and reaction rate. These optimal reaction conditions were then used for the one-pot two-step synthesis of diblock copolymers by sequential monomer addition. Altogether, this work shows the power of high-throughput optimization of Cu(0)-mediated polymerization reaction conditions. As such, it may serve to accelerate optimization of Cu(0)-mediated polymerization conditions and aid in gaining fundamental understanding of the effects of various parameters on the Cu(0)-mediated polymerization.

Cu(0)-mediated polymerization of hydrophobic acrylates using high-throughput experimentation by Lenny Voorhaar, Sofie Wallyn, Filip E. Du Prez and Richard Hoogenboom, Polym. Chem. 2014, 5, 4268-4276.

Julien Nicolas is a web-writer and advisory board member for Polymer Chemistry. He currently works at Univ. Paris-Sud (FR) as a CNRS researcher.

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Polymer Chemistry is going weekly

From 2015, Polymer Chemistry will be moving to weekly publication. We will be increasing the number of issues per year from the current 24 to 48 whilst maintaing the high quality of the journal.

This is great news and a very positive way to mark Polymer Chemistry’s fifth anniversary next year. It is because of the support we receive from the community that Polymer Chemistry has been going from strength to strength, and we would like to thank all of our readers, authors, referees and board members for their contributions to the journal.

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Paper of the week: Fully biodegradable antibacterial hydrogels

‘Bacterial infection is a serious problem in many areas, especially those involving the use of biomaterials. According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, at any time, over 1.4 million people worldwide suffer from infectious complications acquired in hospital, which have much to do with the use of medical devices. Hydrogels are three-dimensional polymer networks that are able to retain a large fraction of aqueous solvent within their structures. Due to their high water content and soft consistency, which is similar to natural tissue, hydrogels resemble natural living tissue more than any other class of synthetic biomaterial. Therefore, hydrogels have received extraordinary attention as biomaterials for use in biomedical applications, such as tissue engineering, wound dressing materials, immunoisolation16 and drug delivery. Thus, fabricating hydrogels with antibacterial properties is crucial for the biomedical field.’

Graphical abstract: Fully biodegradable antibacterial hydrogels via thiol–ene “click” chemistry

In this work, Zhu and co-workers prepared fully biodegradable antimicrobial hydrogels via a thiol–ene “click” reaction under human physiological conditions using multifunctional poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) derivatives as precursors. Water soluble and degradable PEG derivatives with multi-enes and multi-thiols, respectively, were synthesized by polycondensation of oligo(ethylene glycol) (OEG) with “clickable” monomers. Ammonium groups with long alkyl chains were incorporated into one of the precursors covalently, using dodecyl bis(2-hydroxyethyl) methylammonium chloride as a comonomer.  These types of cationic PEG-type hydrogels showed strong antibacterial abilities against both Gram- negative and Gram-positive bacteria due to the ammonium moieties. Moreover, the hydrogel with fewer ammonium moieties still possessed significant antibacterial abilities, but low toxicity, and has the potential to be used as a medical material.

Fully biodegradable antibacterial hydrogels via thiol–ene “click” chemistry by Hong Du, Guangyu Zha, Lilong Gao, Huan Wang, Xiaodong Li, Zhiquan Shena and Weipu Zhu, Polym. Chem. 2014, 5, 4002-4008.

Julien Nicolas is a web-writer and advisory board member for Polymer Chemistry. He currently works at Univ. Paris-Sud (FR) as a CNRS researcher.

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Author of the Month: Prof. Dr. Jean Francois Carpentier

Prof. Dr. Jean Francois Carpentier received his PhD in 1992 in organic and macromolecular chemistry, University of Lille. He has received several awards, including Pasteur Medal of the graduate school “Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Lille”, Bronze medal of CNRS (1997), Recipient of the ATIPE fellowship from CNRS (2001), Recipient of the Rennes Metropole researcher award (2003), Junior member of Institut Universitaire de France (2005), Chevalier in Ordre des Palmes Académiques (2013), Silver Medal CNRS and Germaine et André Lequeux award from the French Academy of Sciences/Institut de France (2014). His research interests include organometallic chemistry of oxophilic elements (groups 2-6, 12-14); design of single-site (stereoselective) polymerization catalysts: metallocenes, post-metallocenes, Ziegler-Natta polymerization and oligomerization catalysis: polyolefins, polydienes, polyesters, functional polymer materials; homogeneous catalysis for fine chemicals synthesis: hydrogenation, hydroelementation, carbonylation and green chemistry and biorenewables, and biodegradable polymer materials. He has co-authored 236 publications in peer-reviewed journals; 48 original patents and 9 book chapters. He has co-supervised over 20 PhD students.

What was your inspiration in becoming a chemist?

 I grew up in a family with a strong appeal for nature and I have been interested in “natural things” from my earliest childhood. When I was 13, at school, I had a wonderful teacher who explained to us the connections between geology, physics and chemistry. I then started to collect minerals and, rapidly, I became more and more interested in the chemistry of these “stones”, trying to understand what they were made of. At 15, I was regularly performing “chemical experiments”, dissolving minerals by acidic treatments and trying to identify which elements were present by wet analytical tests (to the great fear of my parents! but they always encouraged me). Although I was hesitating for a time to become a pharmacist, I finally decided to embark on chemistry studies.

 What was the motivation to write your Polymer Chemistry article?

 Some years ago, my close colleague, Dr. Sophie Guillaume, a specialist in the field of polycarbonates and polyesters, and I started to look at the topical, so-called NIPUs: Non-Isocyanate PolyUrethanes, through the ring-opening of dicyclocarbonate-telechelic polyesters, some materials we are used to preparing in our group. With a former postdoc associate, Dr. Ali Alaaeddine who was working with Dr. Bruno Ameduri in Montpellier, a specialist in fluorinated polymers, we decided to explore fluorinated versions of polyhydroxyurethanes. We anticipated that the combination of these quite different functionalities would make rather unique materials.

 Why did you choose Polymer Chemistry to publish your work? (DOI: 10.1039/C4PY00547C)

Polymer Chemistry is a high-quality journal with a broad audience. The editorial and production teams are very well-organized and turn-around time for peer-reviewing and production is short.

In which upcoming conferences may our readers meet you?

Most of my research is devoted to organometallic catalysis, largely for polymerization catalysis. I will thus attend next July the International Conference on Organometallic Chemistry in Sapporo and the 41th International Conference on Coordination Chemistry in Singapore. Next December, I will attend the 10th SPSJ International Polymer Conference in Tsukuba, Japan.

How do you spend your spare time? Jean-François Carpentier and family

I enjoy spending time with my two kids and my wife. In winter time, all my colleagues know that I go hunting regularly. Extensive walking through the countryside refreshes my mind, gives me time for thinking quietly, and helps me keep fit (admittedly with difficulty…). Besides, I still very much enjoy taking care of my mineral collection that I have not stopped since childhood, visiting museums and mines; chemistry is never far away…

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

I would probably have become a forest guard or a fisherman.

Read Professor Carpentier’s latest Polymer Chemistry paper:

From glycidyl carbonate to hydroxyurethane side-groups in alternating fluorinated copolymers
Roukaya Hamiye, Ali Alaaeddine, Mouhamad Awada, Benjamin Campagne, Sylvain Caillol, Sophie M. Guillaume, Bruno Ameduri and Jean-François Carpentier  

 

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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Ben Zhong Tang interviewed in Chemistry World

Polymer Chemistry Associate Editor Ben Zhong Tang was interviewed for Chemistry World about his work on alkyne polymers and aggregation induced emission.

Here are some of the highlights:

Your research on aggregation induced emission (AIE) received a lot of attention. Can you tell us more about it?

There are a lot of light emitting materials. This type of material, if you dissolve it to make a dilute solution, gives a very strong emission. However, for many of these kinds of dyes, if their concentration becomes high, their emission becomes weaker. This phenomenon has often been referred to as aggregation-caused quenching or ACQ for short. This is a problem in things like mobile phone displays, where the light emitting material is used as thin solid film. In the solid state, you know, concentration is the highest.

We have developed a family of luminogenic materials that behave in exactly the opposite way. When they are in solution, there is no emission, but when they aggregate, they emit very efficiently. It’s unusual and intriguing: previously, people have tried to solve the problem of ACQ by trying to separate the light emitting molecules. But now we have a system where the more it aggregates, the better

You’ve used these systems recently to make biosensors.

Yes, one very good application for these systems is in biology. One of the reasons for this is that light emitting species are aromatic rings, which are hydrophobic. In the body, we don’t have organic solvents: we only have water. Water is hydrophilic, so it isn’t compatible with the aromatic molecules. Traditional ACQ systems are not very good for biological applications due to the aggregate formation, but our systems work well in water, also owing to the formation of aggregates!

What current problem would you like to see polymer chemistry provide a solution to?

There are so many problems! In China, pollution is a big issue and this includes plastics. If we can come up with an economic way to recycle polymers back to monomers, then make them into new polymers in an economic way, we could reduce environmental pollution. Energy, of course, is another issue. One day we may have a very good polymer-based solar cell.

Read the full interview on the Chemistry World website: Ben Zhong Tang: Polymers for a bright future

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Paper of the week: Macroporous antibacterial hydrogels with tunable pore structures

‘Porous hydrogels with well-defined pore structure have attracted considerable attention due to their multifarious applications such as scaffolds for tissue engineering, vehicles for drug delivery and self-healing materials. CO2-in-water (C/W) high internal phase emulsions (HIPEs) and oil-in-water (O/W) HIPEs are considered as very effective templates to produce such kinds of high porosity hydrogels… In most cases, the O/W HIPEs are stabilized by large amounts of surfactants at high concentrations of 5–50 vol%, where the enormous quantity of surfactants presents economic and potential environmental problems. Therefore, much attention has been focused on the Pickering-HIPEs, which are stabilized by colloidal particles instead of traditional surfactants.’

Graphical abstract: Macroporous antibacterial hydrogels with tunable pore structures fabricated by using Pickering high internal phase emulsions as templates

In this work, Deng, Wang and co-workers prepared Artemisia argyi oil (AAO)-loaded macroporous antibacterial hydrogels by polymerization of oil-in-water Pickering HIPEs. The HIPEs were stabilized by the synergy of hydrophilic silica nanoparticles (N20) and surfactant Tween 80. The void interconnectivity and pore size of the hydrogels can be readily tailored by varying the concentrations of N20 nanoparticles and Tween 80. The in vitro release of the AAO-loaded hydrogels with different inner morphologies was evaluated and showed controlled release activity. The antibacterial activity of the AAO-loaded hydrogel was evaluated against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. This kind of hydrogel exhibited excellent and long-term antibacterial activity indicating its potential use in biomedical and infection prevention applications.

Macroporous antibacterial hydrogels with tunable pore structures fabricated by using Pickering high internal phase emulsions as templates by Shengwen Zou, Zengjiang Wei, Yang Hu, Yonghong Deng, Zhen Tonga and Chaoyang Wang, Polym. Chem. 2014, 5, 4227-4234.

Julien Nicolas is a web-writer and advisory board member for Polymer Chemistry. He currently works at Univ. Paris-Sud (FR) as a CNRS researcher.

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Paper of the week: Bio-based covering materials for surface design

‘Innovative approaches for the syntheses of polymeric structures bearing polypeptides have received enormous interest in the fields of biomedicine, drug delivery, biomineralization, nanoscale self-assembly, and tissue engineering. The conjugation of synthetic polymers with polypeptides can result in novel biomaterials that possess the following characteristics: biorecognition-like properties similar to antibody/antigen interactions, biodegradability properties, biocatalyst activity, and compatibility with blood and/or tissue.’

Graphical abstract: Electrochemical deposition of polypeptides: bio-based covering materials for surface design

In this article, Endo, Timur, Yagci and co-workers reported on a simple and efficient approach for the electrochemical deposition of polypeptides as bio-based covering materials for surface design. The method involves N-carboxyanhydride (NCA) ring-opening polymerization from its precursor to form a thiophene-functionalized polypeptide macromonomer (T-Pala), followed by electropolymerization. The obtained conducting polymer, namely polythiophene-g-polyalanine (PT-Pala), was characterized and utilized as a matrix for biomolecule attachment. The biosensing applicability of PT-Pala was also investigated by using glucose oxidase (GOx) as a model enzyme to detect glucose. Finally, the antimicrobial activities of newly synthesized T-Pala and PT-Pala were also evaluated. Interestingly, this technique is experimentally facile and can be applied to various types of polypeptides.

Electrochemical deposition of polypeptides: bio-based covering materials for surface design by Huseyin Akbulut, Murat Yavuz, Emine Guler, Dilek Odaci Demirkol, Takeshi Endo, Shuhei Yamada, Suna Timur and Yusuf Yagci, Polym. Chem. 2014, 5, 3929-3936.

Julien Nicolas is a web-writer and advisory board member for Polymer Chemistry. He currently works at Univ. Paris-Sud (FR) as a CNRS researcher.

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Author of the Week: Zhenkun Zhang

zhenkunzhangZhenkun Zhang obtained his B.S. and M.S. degree in Chemistry from Nankai University in China in 1999 and 2002, respectively. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in 2007 from University of Twente in the Netherlands by working in Prof. Jan. K. Dhont’s group in Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany. After that, he spent one year in postdoctoral training at the Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal of the CNRS in France with Dr. Eric Grelet. From Sept. 2008 to Mar. 2011, he conducted postdoctoral research with Prof. Jan Vermant and Prof. Dr. Christian Clasen at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. In June of 2011, he joined the Institute of Polymer Chemistry (IPC) at Nankai University and then was promoted to associate professor in the same year. In his previous research, he mainly focused on applying chemical modifications to rodlike viruses to create well-defined models for the fundamental research of soft matter such as chiral nematic liquid crystals, hydrogels, etc. Together with his collaborators, he also made some progress in the preparation of polymeric ellipsoidal colloids and succeeded in the large-scale directed self-assembly of such particles at a fluid-fluid interface. His current research interests are the preparation and controlled assembly of virus/polymer hybrids, understanding and application of the chiral nematic liquid crystal phase of rodlike viruses, self-assembly of anisotropic particles at fluid-fluid interfaces.

Group web-link: http://polymer.nankai.edu.cn/zhang/

What was your inspiration in becoming a chemist?

It is a destiny. I was indeed good in most of the subjects I had to learn at school, except for sports. When I was at the junior school we started to learn chemistry. I could get a very high score in each examination and then was promoted to the assistant to the chemistry teacher to help him with collecting the homework and examination papers. At that time, I was surprised by the fact that gas bubbles appeared when I poured on vinegar to remove water scale, and I tried to plug two iron sticks to a potato with the hope of producing some electricity to power a tiny bulb. I continued to make high scores in each chemistry test and worked as the assistant to the chemistry teacher through my days in high school. When it was time to pick a major for my university study, I put chemistry as the top choice and went to the college of chemistry at Nankai University in China, which was then claimed to have the best chemistry in China. Since then, I have never stayed away from chemistry.

What was the motivation to write your Polymer Chemistry article? (DOI: 10.1039/C4PY00508B)

Hydrogels are normally made from polymer. In other words, polymers are the key backbone of most of hydrogels. Nowadays, there is increasing interest in the hydogels made from nanoscale fibrous particles which are the results of supramolecular self-assembly of some small molecules. This kind of hydrogel is less controllable and tunable in terms of their mechanical, rheological properties and structure. I have been working with a rodlike virus which has a slender shape with a diameter only 6.6 nm and a length of 880nm. One day, I got the idea that this virus should be the ideal backbone for a fibrous hydrogel. In addition, since I started my own group, I learned from my fellow colleagues about the intriguing properties of boronic acid containing polymers which have found many potential applications such as in glucose sensing materials for the benefit of diabetes treatment. To my surprise, there are barely any reports about binding the boronic acid containing polymers to some biological substrates like proteins to create interesting materials. We decided to design a boronic acid containing polymer with an end functional group which can bind to my favorite natural protein assembly- the rod-like virus. In this way, we created the multiple responsive virus based hydrogel.

Why did you choose Polymer Chemistry to publish your work?

During the work leading to the results presented in the current manuscript, we have read several papers from Polymer Chemistry about boronic acid containing polymers. The quality of the papers is very high and impressive. We also learned that this journal has a fast review and publication process. Our manuscript has been subjected to the assessment of three referees, who gave very objective, insightful and detailed comments. Communication with the Editors is also very pleasant.

At which upcoming conferences may our readers meet you?

I plan to attend the 4th Zing Polymer Chemistry Conference in Cancun, Mexico on 10th December 2014 – 13th December 2014.

How do you spend your spare time?

I like playing with my kid, reading and running when I have free time.

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

Once, for a while, I was obsessed with internet technology, especially website designing and programming. If I were not working in academia, I would have been a programmer.

Read Zhenkun Zhang’s lastest Polymer Chemistry article here:

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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