•   
  •   
  •   
  •   
  •   

Christopher W. Bielawski

Christopher W. Bielawski
Program
Beckman Young Investigators

Award Year
2007

Institution
University of Texas at Austin

Email:
bielawski@cm.utexas.edu

Website:

Research Title:
Dynamic Polymers as Recyclable Catalysts

Abstract:
This proposal outlines a conceptually new approach to recycling catalysts using dynamic polymers. While many recyclable systems are known, their ultimate utilities are often restricted by mass transport issues, low activities/selectivities, reagent incompatibilities, high catalyst loadings, and/or the need for large volumes of solvent{s). We hypothesize that many of these limitations can be overcome through the development of structurally-reversible materials that can change their solubility characteristics in response to external stimuli. Specifically, we propose an insoluble, thermally-responsive polymer that, upon depolymerization, affords a soluble, catalytically-active monomer. Thus, synthetically useful reactions should be possible under stimulated conditions. Subsequent removal of the stimulus should induce a precipitation-driven polymerization and facilitate catalyst recovery. Promising preliminary results include the discovery of dynamic polymers that depolymerize to discrete N-heterocyclic carbenes or carbene-metal catalysts and promote synthetic reactions. To help recyclable polymer-based catalyst.s reach their full potential, experiments are proposed to refine initial designs and optimize their utilities in various transformations.

Go Back