The Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology welcome Herbert Wakefield IV '19 to discuss "Precise Synthesis and Reactivity of Organometallic Building Blocks for Novel Polymers." Please join us at 11:10 a.m. on March 21 in Tomsich Hall 101.

Abstract: Organometallics have been shown to be promising synthetic targets due to their desirable electronic properties relevant for materials applications. Furthermore, incorporation of these elements into polymeric chains allows for materials with softer physical properties. However, due to limitations in commercially available main group reagents, synthesizing polymers with non-carbon elements remains a challenge and therefore creative strategies are necessary. The Klausen group creates novel polymer architectures from organometallic building blocks, specifically silicon and boron. This talk will showcase investigations from both sides of the lab. The first part of the talk will depict the influence of BN for CC bond substitution on the reactivity of benzylic ions and the effect on BN 2-vinylnaphthalene (BN2VN) ionic polymerization. 1 BN2VN’s ionic reactivities will demonstrate the effect of resonance in main group aromatics. In the second part, a new reaction pathway to synthesize strained cyclooligosilanes to be used for ring opening metathesis polymerization. The resulting polymers analyzed by single molecule force spectroscopy to understand how silane motif conformation will alter strand properties of all-carbon analogs. This work is in collaboration with the NSF-funded Center for the Chemistry of Molecularly Optimized Networks (MONET). Overall, the diversity of the science presented emphasizes the value of understanding molecular properties in strategic polymer design.