My research is centered around understanding how the structure-property relationships of commercial polyolefins such as linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) are governed by shifts in architecture along individual polymer chains (i.e. changes in branch spacing, branch length). To understand these composition-dependent changes in behavior, I focus on the strategic design and synthesis of model polyolefins derived from controlled polymerization mechanisms to control the length, spacing, and overall distribution of short chain branches along the polyolefin backbone. These model polyolefins compounds can then be characterized in solution and in bulk to identify key parameters that will improve our ability to identify and potentially separate these polyolefins from mixed waste streams.
Professional Background Summary:
I am a polymer chemist and engineer with a background in monomer and polymer synthesis, post-polymerization modification, thermomechanical characterization, and scattering. I am currently a member of the Macromolecular Architectures project team in the Polymers and Complex Fluids Group where I focus heavily on the synthesis and intensive characterization of model polyolefin derivatives.
I have extensive experience in the fabrication and characterization of soft matter, especially where it relates to investigating ties between morphology and the mechanical and functional properties of a material.