Organometallic, Inorganic, and Polymer Chemistry
B.S. Chemistry, Stanford University, 2008
Ph.D. Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, 2014
Postdoctoral Research, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, 2014–2017
Many organometallic catalysts are limited in reactivity and scope or require rigorously controlled conditions to function efficiently. My group studies how organic polymers can modify the activity of these small molecule catalysts by confining them within a macromolecular environment. Using the tools of traditional organometallic chemistry and polymer chemistry, we synthesize catalysts to lower the activation barrier for challenging reactions relevant to the fuel economy, and these catalysts are appended to polymers. Thus, the small molecule catalysts will work as active sites within a larger scaffold, similar to a protein or enzyme. The polymers’ ability to alter catalytic activity will be explored, where we expect that this biomimetic approach will have significant effects.