Author Archive

Polymer Chemistry Emerging Investigator- Saihu Liao

Profile picture of Saihu LiaoSaihu Liao studied chemistry at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and obtained his bachelor degree in 2005. After two years of graduate study with Prof. Yuefa Gong at the same university, he joined Prof. Benjamin List’s group at the Max-Planck-Institute for Coal Research (MPI-KOFO), Germany, where he obtained his doctoral degree in organic chemistry in 2011. Then, he returned to China and joined Prof. Yong Tang’s group as a research associate at the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry (SIOC), Chinese Academy of Sciences. In September 2016, he started his independent career at Fuzhou University, where he was promoted to full professor in 2017. His current research focuses on the development of new organocatalysts and new strategies for polymerization, with a special concern to photo-control and tacticity-regulation.

 

Read Saihu’s Emerging Investigator article, ‘Organocatalytic Cationic Degenerate Chain Transfer Polymerization of Vinyl Ethers with Excellent Temporal Control’

 

How do you feel about Polymer Chemistry as a place to publish research on this topic?

We are interested in the exploration of organocatalysis in polymerization, with a focus on the development of organic photocatalysts and chiral catalysts. As one of the leading journals in polymer chemistry with broad readership, Polymer Chemistry is a wonderful place to publish our research on this topic. We quite appreciate the timely and professional processing of the manuscripts, and also the constructive comments and suggestions from reviewers.

 

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment and what do you find most challenging about your research?

The most exciting moment could be the time we found some new catalysts were surprisingly effective. A challenging thing to us is just to predict the performance of a new catalyst, e.g. its ability in the temporal or tacticity control.      

 

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Polymer Chemistry Emerging Investigator- Shaofeng Liu

Profile picture of Shaofeng LiuShaofeng Liu is a professor at College of Polymer Science and Engineering at Qingdao University of Science and Technology. He received his B.S. in 2005 from Central South University, obtained his Ph.D. in 2011 from Institute of Chemistry Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICCAS) and Université de Strasbourg (UDS) under the supervision of Prof. Wen-Hua Sun and Prof. Pierre Braunstein. He then joined the group of Prof. Tobin J. Marks at Northwestern University as a postdoctoral fellow (2011-2014). In 2015, he moved to Qingdao University of Science and Technology and started his independent research career. His current research interests include organometallic catalysts for olefin polymerization and organocatalysts for sustainable polymers by ring-opening polymerization. 

 

Read Shaofeng’s Emerging Investigator article, ‘Chromium complexes supported by NNO-tridentate ligands: an unprecedented activity with the requirement of a small amount of MAO’

 

How do you feel about Polymer Chemistry as a place to publish research on this topic?

Polymer Chemistry is a leading journal and a preferred platform to publish important research in the field of polymer science.

 

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment and what do you find most challenging about your research?

Our research interests include the development of organometallic catalysts for polyolefins by coordination polymerization and organocatalysts for sustainable polymers by ring-opening polymerization. Therefore, from the view of both catalytic systems (metal-based or metal-free catalysis) and resultant polymer materials (traditional and nondegradable polyolefin or degradable and recyclable polyester/polycarbonate), there seem to exit conflict of interests, which actually become our most excited aspects. For our current research, the most challenging work is designing simple catalysts to synthesize sophisticated polymers with superior performances.  

 

In your opinion, what are the most important questions to be asked/answered in this field of research?

The activity and selectivity are the most considered aspects for various polymerization reactions. In my opinion, how to balance these two aspects would be the most important question in the field of polymer synthesis.

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2022 Polymer Chemistry Lectureship awarded to Dominik Konkolewicz

We are delighted to announce Dominik Konkolewicz (Miami University) as the recipient of the 2022 Polymer Chemistry lectureship.

This award, now in its eighth year, honours an early-career researcher who has made significant contribution to the polymer field. The recipient is selected by the Polymer Chemistry Editorial Board from a list of candidates nominated by the community.

Profile picture of Dominik Konkolewicz  

 ‘I think the fantastic thing about Polymer Chemistry is that the journal has a clear focus on the development and evaluation of polymers, while still covering a wide range of topics ranging from fundamental kinetic analysis and mechanistic work through to 3D printing and bio-applications of polymers.’

 

Dominik Konkolewicz earned a Bachelors of Science degree at the University of Sydney (Australia) in 2006, majoring in Chemistry and Mathematics. He continued at the University of Sydney to complete his PhD (2011) working with Dr. Sébastien Perrier on polymerization kinetics and branched polymer synthesis. He went on to complete postdoctoral research at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh (USA), working with Dr. Krzysztof Matyjaszewski on mechanisms of complex reactions and applications of precisely defined polymers. In 2014, Dominik joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Miami University in Oxford OH (USA) as an Assistant Professor, with promotion to Associate Professor in 2019. He will start as full professor in Fall 2022. The Konkolewicz group explores a wide range of topics in Polymer Chemistry, including radical polymerization mechanisms, dynamically bonded polymer materials, light driven reactions, bioconjugates, and polymer based self-assembly. Dominik has published over 130 research articles in polymer chemistry and polymer science, with a particular focus on developing fundamental science to facilitate the design of functional materials. Dominik can be found on Twitter @PolyKonkol and the Konkolewicz group can be found on Twitter @konkolgroup.

 

Check out Dominik’s recent publication in Polymer Chemistry, A general model for the ideal chain length distributions of polymers made with reversible deactivation’.

This is free to read until 21st July 2022, along with his other publications in our lectureship winners collection. You can find articles from all our previous lectureship winners in the collection too.

 

Read our interview with Dominik below:

 

How has your research evolved from your first article to this most recent article?

My first article in Polymer Chemistry, published as a PhD student, focused on modelling complex polymers. Since then, our group has maintained its core of developing fundamental mechanistic chemistry, while expanding into a wide range of topics such as responsive polymers and biomaterials.

 

What excites you most about your area of research and what has been the most exciting moment of your career so far?

Things that excite me at the moment is the development of basic polymer science that can be connected to ongoing challenges in our fields. Thinking how we use basic science to contribute towards solutions in sustainability and efficiency is really an important area. The most exciting moments in my career are the growth of my students and trainees. Seeing early career scientists and students move towards their long-term career goals and their ability to contribute to ongoing problems is very rewarding.

 

In your opinion, what are the most important questions to be asked/answered in your field of research?

Current and important questions in the field include: how can basic concepts in mechanistic polymer science be translated to next generation materials; and how can we effectively discuss science with the community broadly. We need a balance of fundamental science, but also applying what we know already to current challenges.

 

How do you feel about Polymer Chemistry as a place to publish research on this topic?

I really value Polymer Chemistry as a forum to publish work across the topics of mechanism and kinetics, polymer-based materials synthesis and analysis of structure property relationships across a range of polymer-based materials. I think the fantastic thing about Polymer Chemistry is that the journal has a clear focus on the development and evaluation of polymers, while still covering a wide range of topics ranging from fundamental kinetic analysis and mechanistic work through to 3D printing and bio-applications of polymers.

 

Which of your Polymer Chemistry publications are you most proud of and why?

Clearly this is a really difficult question, because I am very proud of all our group’s publications in Polymer Chemistry. However, if I had to choose one it would be B. Zhang, Z. A. Digby, J. A. Flum, E. M. Foster, J. L. Sparks, D. Konkolewicz, ‘Self-Healing, Malleable and Creep Limiting Materials using both Supramolecular and Reversible Covalent Linkages’, Polymer Chemistry 2015, 6, 7368-7372, DOI: 10.1039/C5PY01214G. This is our first publication on dynamically bonded materials and mechanical testing. I am exceptionally proud of how our team members gained new skills in dynamic chemistry and materials characterization in such a short time, and used these skills to combine two dynamic chemistries to give responsive and stable materials.

 

In which upcoming conferences or events (online or in person) may our readers meet you?

COVID-19 has really negatively impacted our ability to plan for future travel, but I am planning to attend the Fall 2022 ACS meeting in person, as well as a couple of meetings in 2023 such as the 2023 Polymers Gordon Research Conference.

 

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with early career scientists?

The advice I would share is don’t be shy about reaching out to trusted individuals (such as colleagues or former advisors) for feedback. Since everyone brings something unique and valuable to the chemistry community, believe in your skills and the importance of your contributions.

 

How do you spend your spare time?

In my time away from the lab, I enjoy spending time with my family and our cats, cooking and baking new recipes, and running or cycling outdoors.

 

We would like to thank everybody who nominated a candidate for the 2022 Polymer Chemistry Lectureship. The Editorial Board had a very difficult task in choosing a winner from the many excellent and worthy candidates.

 

Please join us in congratulating Dominik on winning this award!

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New themed collection: Molecularly defined polymers

We are very pleased to announce the Polymer Chemistry special collection on Molecularly Defined Polymers: Synthesis and Function

 

This special issue presents the latest developments in the synthesis and applications of polymers with controlled, defined and/or precise molecular-scale structures. The Guest Editors for this collection are:

  • Professor Jeremiah Johnson (MIT, USA)
  • Professor Filip Du Prez (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Professor Elizabeth Elacqua (Pennsylvania State University, USA)

 

Profile pictures of Jeremiah Johnson, Filip Du Prez and Elizabeth Elacqua

 

In their Editorial, Guest Editors Jeremiah Johnson, Filip Du Prez and Elizabeth Elacqua selected a number of manuscripts to exemplify and highlight goals and strategies for attaining sequence-defined macromolecules, synthesis of precise macromolecules, macromolecular precision and its roles in dictating the properties of bulk materials.

Button saying Click here to read the full Molecularly Defined Polymers collection

 

The full collection can be found here and we have also highlighted a selection of articles below. We hope you enjoy these, and the rest of the articles included in the collection:

 

Green light LED activated ligation of a scalable, versatile chalcone chromophore

Ishrath Mohamed Irshadeen, Kevin De Bruycker, Aaron S. Micallef, Sarah L. Walden, Hendrik Frisch and Christopher Barner-Kowollik

Polymer Chemistry, 2021,12, 4903-4909

 

Recent progress in the construction of polymers with advanced chain structures via hybrid, switchable, and cascade chain-growth polymerizations

Guang Chen, Lei Xia, Fei Wang, Ze Zhang and Ye-Zi You

Polymer Chemistry, 2021,12, 3740-3752

 

Synthesis and sequencing of informational poly(amino phosphodiester)s

Ian Roszak, Laurence Oswald, Abdelaziz Al Ouahabi, Annabelle Bertin, Eline Laurent, Olivier Felix, Isaure Carvin-Sergent, Laurence Charles and Jean-François Lutz

Polymer Chemistry, 2021,12, 5279-5282

 

Amino acid acrylamide mimics: creation of a consistent monomer library and characterization of their polymerization behaviour

Dries Wyers, Toon Goris, Yana De Smet and Tanja Junkers

Polymer Chemistry, 2021,12, 5037-5047

 

Stereocontrolled, multi-functional sequence-defined oligomers through automated synthesis

Chiel Mertens, Matthieu Soete, Marcin L. Ślęczkowski, Anja R. A. Palmans, E. W. Meijer, Nezha Badi and Filip E. Du Prez

Polymer Chemistry, 2020,11, 4271-4280

 

Mechanistic insights into the pressure-induced polymerization of aryl/perfluoroaryl co-crystals

Margaret C. Gerthoffer,  Bohan Xu,  Sikai Wu,  Jordan Cox,  Steven Huss,  Shalisa M. Oburn,  Steven A. Lopez,  Vincent H. Crespi,  John V. Badding and  Elizabeth Elacqua

Polymer Chemistry, 2022,13, 1359-1368

 

All the articles in the collection are currently FREE to read until 14 June!

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Polymer Chemistry Emerging Investigator – Nicholas Warren

Profile picture of Nicholas WarrenNick Warren is an Associate Professor at School of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Leeds. He was awarded an Masters in Chemistry from the University of Bristol in 2005 following which he conducted two years industrial research. He then moved to the University of Sheffield where he obtained a PhD in Polymer Chemistry. He continued as a postdoctoral researcher in Sheffield working in the area of polymerisation-induced self-assembly (PISA) until 2016, when he moved to Leeds to start his independent research career. His research group aims to design a new generation of sustainable and functional polymer materials by exploiting the latest advances in both polymer chemistry and self-optimising reactor technologies equipped with advanced online monitoring and computer control. He can be found on Twitter @njwarren1.

 

 

 

Read Nick’s Emerging Investigator article ‘Autonomous polymer synthesis delivered by multi-objective closed-loop optimisation’.

 

How do you feel about Polymer Chemistry as a place to publish research on this topic?

The vision of our research group is to develop technologies which aim to enhance precision and reproducibility in polymer synthesis and it is therefore vital that we target polymer chemists directly. Polymer Chemistry is the ideal avenue for this, and we hope it encourages adoption of new technologies in polymer synthesis labs around the world. Hopefully over the next few years, we can work with others to discover new materials with our platforms by implementing them for more technically demanding polymerisation processes.

 

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment and what do you find most challenging about your research?

The ability to control our systems remotely, means we anticipate that networks of reactors in different labs around the world can communicate via cloud computing to optimise and discover new polymers. We are really excited by the fact that this is bringing artificially intelligent approaches to polymer discovery one step closer!

There are many advantages that flow chemistry affords here, but the challenges associated with polymer solutions in flow means a lot of work is required to optimise the reactor geometries and to provide consistent mixing. However, by working with fluid dynamics experts we are beginning to address these problems, which have traditionally been a major barrier. We are also keen to enable multi-step processes, without human intervention with each characterised in real-time. This includes post-polymerisation processing, and purification. There are also significant challenges in dealing with all sorts of data, which means we’re going to need to tailor our machine learning algorithms to accept this – essentially teaching robots how to do polymer synthesis!

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New themed collection: Sustainable polymers

We are very pleased to announce the Polymer Chemistry special collection on Sustainable Polymers

 

This special issue presents the most important developments in these fields in novel synthetic methodology and making use of modern methods such as continuous flow chemistry or energy-efficient photochemical reactions for sustainable polymer synthesis. The Guest Editors for this collection are:

  • Professor Antoine Buchard (University of Bath, Belgium)
  • Professor Tanja Junkers (Monash University, Australia)

 

In their Editorial, Guest Editors Antoine Buchard and Tanja Junkers discuss the importance of sustainability in polymers including in areas such as renewable polymers, green synthetic methods, improving polymer properties, degradability, chemical recycling, toxicology impact and design.

 

Click here to read the full collection

 

The full collection can be found here and we have also highlighted a selection of articles below. We hope you enjoy these, and the rest of the articles included in the collection.

 

A guide towards safe, functional and renewable BPA alternatives by rational molecular design: structure–property and structure–toxicity relationships
L. Trullemans, S.-F. Koelewijn, I. Scodeller, T. Hendrickx, P. Van Puyvelde and B. F. Sels

Polymer Chemistry, 2021, 12, 5870-5901

 

Recent developments towards performance-enchancing lignin-based polymers
Garrett F. Bass and Thomas H. Epps, III
Polymer Chemistry, 2021, 12, 4130-4158

 

Sustainable synthesis of CO2-derived polycarbonates from ᴅ-xylose
David K. Tran, Ahmed Z. Rashad, Donald J. Darensbourg and Karen L. Wooley

Polymer Chemistry, 2021, 12, 5271-5278

 

Access to high-molecular-weight poly(γ-butyrolactone) by using simple commercial catalysts
Yihuan Liu, Xin Yuan, Jiaqi Wu, Xin Hu, Ning Zhu and Kai Guo

Polymer Chemistry, 2022, 13, 439-445

 

Novel imino- and aryl-sulfonate based photoacid generators for the cationic ring-opening polymerizarion of ε-caprolactone
Xabier Lopez de Pariza, Erick Cordero Jara, Nicolas Zivic, Fernando Ruipérez, Timothy E. Long and Haritz Sardon
Polymer Chemistry, 2021, 12, 4035-4042

 

Renewable and recyclable covalent adaptable networks based on bio-derived lipoic acid
Maher A. Alraddadi, Viviane Chiaradia, Connor J. Stubbs, Joshua C. Worch and Andrew P. Dove

Polymer Chemistry, 2021, 12, 5796-5802

 

All the articles in the collection are currently FREE to read until 2 May 2022!

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New themed collection: Synthetic methodologies for complex macromolecular structures

We are very pleased to announce the Polymer Chemistry special collection on Synthetic methodologies for complex macromolecular structures, in honour of Professor Yusuf Yağci’s 70th birthday

 

Professor Yusuf Yağci has worked on various aspects of polymer synthesis during his long research career and has developed several new synthetic methodologies to create functional macromolecules. He has benefited from ionic polymerizations, photo-initiated polymerizations, as well as controlled or living radical polymerization techniques. This collection is not just limited to these topics but also aims to reflect the inspiring, creative and entertaining character of Yusuf. The Guest Editors for this collection are:

  • Dr Hatice Mutlu (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany)
  • Professor Filip Du Prez (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • Professor Remzi Becer (University of Warwick, UK)

 

In their Editorial, Guest Editors Hatice, Filip and Remzi, discuss the impact that Professor Yağci has had on the advancement of many fields, his commitment to the polymer chemistry community and his entertaining character.

 

Click here to read the full collcetion

 

The full collection can be found here and we have also highlighted a selection of articles below. We hope you enjoy these, and the rest of the articles included in the collection.

 

Synthesis of core-crosslinked star polymers via organocatalyzed living radical polymerization
Yichao Zheng, Jit Sarkar, Hiroshi Niino, Shunsuke Chatani, Shu Yao Hsu and Atsushi Goto

Polymer Chemistry, 2021, 12, 4043-4051

 

Trehalose coated nanocellulose to inhibit the infections by S. aureus
Yimeng Li, Małgorzata Milewska, Yee Yee Khine, Nicholas Ariotti and Martina Stenzel
Polymer Chemistry, 2022, 10.1039/D1PY01422F

 

Bromoform-assisted aqueous free radical polymerisation: a simple, inexpensive route for the preparation of block copolymers
Helena Hutchins-Crawford, Padarat Ninjiaranai, Matthew Derry, Robert Molloy, Brian Tighe and Paul Topham

Polymer Chemistry, 2021, 12, 4317-4325

 

Redox-sensitive ferrocene functionalised double cross-linked supramolecular hydrogels
Nikolai Liubimtsev, Tom Kösterke, Yunjiao Che, Dietmar Appelhans, Jens Gaitzsch and Brigitte Voit

Polymer Chemistry, 2022, 13, 427-438

 

Effect of halogen and solvent on iron-catalyzed atom transfer radical polymerization
Sajjad Dadashi-Silab, Khidong Kim, Francesca Lorandi, Dirk Schild, Marco Fantin and Krzysztof Matyjaszewski
Polymer Chemistry, 2022, 13, 1059-1066

 

Upconversion nanoparticle-assisted cationic and radical/cationic hybrid photopolymerization using sulfonium salts
Xiaoyan Meng, Longji Li, Yaoxin Huang, Xin Deng, Xiaoxuan Liu and Zhiquan Li

Polymer Chemistry, 2021, 12, 7005-7009

 

All the articles in the collection are currently FREE to read until 17 April 2022!

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Polymer Chemistry Emerging Investigator – Runhui Liu

Professor Runhui Liu obtained Ph.D in organic chemistry 2009 at Purdue University. Afterward, he took postdoctoral trainings at California Institute of Technology and University of Wisconsin-Madison during 2010-2014. At the end of 2014, he took a professor position in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST). His current research focuses on peptide polymer-based biomaterials for antimicrobial and tissue engineering applications.

 

 

 

Read Runhui’s article ‘Facile Synthesis of Polypeptoid Bearing Bulky Sidechains via Urea Accelerated Ring-Opening Polymerization of a-Amino Acid N-Substituted N-Carboxyanhydrides’.

 

How do you feel about Polymer Chemistry as a place to publish research on this topic?

Polymer Chemistry is a wonderful place to publish our work on polymer synthesis.

 

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment and what do you find most challenging about your research?

I am most excited in exploring new chemistry for polymer synthesis, especially to tackle the long-lasting challenges.

The most challenging things for me as a professor are in two folds: keeping the lab running efficiently and productively with minimum amount of funding; inspiring/encouraging students to work on long-standing challenges but not hot topics, and persuading students to give up results that look interesting and publishable at first glance.

 

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

As long as the start-up funding can support the lab for the first 3-4 years, focus on science is more productive eventually; as long as the PI and students can survive, no rush to publish or publish a lot at the first 3 years.

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Polymer Chemistry Emerging Investigator – Matthias Hartlieb

Matthias Hartlieb received his PhD in Chemistry in 2015 at the Friedrich Schiller-University in Jena. He proceeded to work as a DFG-funded postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Warwick followed by a research position at the Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht. He joined the University of Potsdam in 2019 as an Open-Topic Postdoc and, since 2021, he leads an Emmy Noether research group at Potsdam. His research interests are the design of functional polymeric (bio)materials, specifically in the areas of antimicrobial polymers and supramolecular polymers, using tools such as (photo)-RAFT polymerization or solid phase synthesis. More information can be found on his group website and on Twitter @PolyBioPotsdam.

 

 

Read Matthias’ article ‘The role of reversible deactivation in photo-iniferter RAFT polymerization: high livingness enables the straightforward synthesis of multiblock copolymers’.

 

How do you feel about Polymer Chemistry as a place to publish research on this topic?

A significant share of my publications are in Polymer Chemistry and there are reasons for that. Of course, it is one of the leading journals in macromolecular chemistry, and in my opinion, it presents the broadest overview in this area. So, it’s a great journal for researchers to see and be seen. I am also in favor of the uncomplicated and open reviewing process. Waiting times are relatively short and usually feedback is extremely constructive. It might also be a result of my time in the UK, but for me Polymer Chemistry is the journal where I feel most “at home” with my research.

 

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment and what do you find most challenging about your research?

There are actually at least two aspects I am currently equally excited about. On the one hand there is photo-iniferter RAFT polymerization, which is also the topic of the publication in the special issue. This method has a tremendous potential, both for polymer synthesis as well as for material design. On the other hand, I am very keen on developing new antimicrobial polymers. At some point in the future antibiotics might fail us and then we need to have something to replace them to avoid a drastic decrease in health care quality and life expectancy.

We are looking at the impact of polymer architecture and on the membrane interaction of these polymers, among other things in order to get closer to an application. For the development of new antimicrobial polymers, we are currently implementing PI-RAFT as well.

 

In your opinion, what are the most important questions to be asked/answered in this field of research?

When it comes to antimicrobial polymers, the most important question is how we can improve their properties to bring them closer to an actual clinical application. However, this contains a lot of other questions, as there are many parameters, influencing the bioactivity of these polymers. Overall, their selectivity (targeting bacterial cells over mammalian cells) requires improvement but its not entirely clear how to achieve optimal performance.

We are looking into the polymer architecture, a parameter that hasn’t received much attention. We are also probing different targeting strategies and want to understand the mechanism of membrane interaction of these polymers in more detail.

 

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

I am happy to forward something that has helped me staying on track: a fellow early career researcher did show me his folder with failed grant applications from the last few years, which had well over 30 items in it. However, he also had one successful one, and that was enough to kick start his career. The same thing happened to me. A lot of failed grant applications, not always with helpful feedback, sometimes without any feedback at all. It is easy to get frustrated at this stage but its important to continue trying. For me eventually, the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) thought my ideas regarding antimicrobial polymers were worth funding, which was the start of my independent research group. The lesson seems to be: don’t get discouraged by failure, because there will be a lot of that. Have a plan B but stay on track and try everything you can to follow your goal. Persistence is key (among other things like good mentoring, a supportive family, etc.).

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Polymer Chemistry Emerging Investigator – Wen-Ming Wan

Dr. Wen-Ming Wan is a Professor at Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He received his B.E. degree in Polymer Material and Engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology. He received a Ph.D. degree in Polymer Chemistry and Physics from University of Science and Technology of China, where he developed polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) method under the supervision of Prof. Cai-Yuan Pan. He completed postdocs at UT Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas) with Prof. Wen-Hong Li, The University of Southern Mississippi with Prof. Charles L. McCormick, and Rutgers University (Newark) with Prof. Frieder Jäkle. He started his independent research career as an Assistant Professor at Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology at China University of Petroleum (East China) in 2014, and then moved to Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2018. His current research interests focus on the development of novel polymerization methodologies, including but not limited to Barbier polymerization, living polymerization, polymerization-induced emission (PIE), single-atom polymerization (SAP) and PISA.

 

Read Wen-Ming’s article ‘Room-temperature Barbier single-atom polymerization induced emission as a versatile approach for the utilization of monofunctional carboxylic acid resources’.

 

How do you feel about Polymer Chemistry as a place to publish research on this topic?

Polymer chemistry is of significance in polymer science. So, Polymer Chemistry journal is a significant platform to publish important research work in polymer science, including synthesis, functionality and applications of polymers.

 

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment and what do you find most challenging about your research?

Carbonyl chemistry is fundamental and plays cornerstone roles in synthetic chemistry. Meanwhile, carbonyl compounds are widely and readily available from fossil fuels and biomass, which are important resources on Earth. However, corresponding carbonyl polymerization is rarely investigated. My most excited work at the moment is Barbier polymerization, which successfully realizes the utilization of a varieties of carbonyls as polymerizable groups for the molecular design of nonconjugated luminescent polymers through polymerization-induced emission (PIE) strategy. Currently, the most challenging about my research is to demonstrate the advantages and importance of carbonyl polymerization in both scientific and industrial aspects, which will ultimately allow us to exploit Earth’s carbonyl resources more efficiently and functionally.

 

In your opinion, what are the most important questions to be asked/answered in this field of research?

Since Staudinger proposed the concept of polymerization in 1920, generations of polymer chemists have spent considerable efforts to develop different kinds of polymerization methods, resulting in prosperous polymer science with abundant synthetic polymer materials in the forms of plastics, fibers, rubbers, etc. In comparison with previous polymerization methods, whether can Barbier polymerization survive throughout the history of polymer chemistry? How far can Barbier polymerization go? Whether can the prepared polymers via Barbier polymerization be recyclable? Whether is the concept of PIE applicable to other polymerization methods?

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