Sustainable chemistry with renewable feedstock
The use of renewable feedstocks is a challenging opportunity that might allow the substitution of existing fossil oil based processes.
This approach is not only environmentally friendly (green chemistry), since the synthetic potential of nature is exploited in a efficient manner, but will simply be necessary in a few decades since our fossil resources are depleting at a high rate.
We use plant oils (and other, such as terpenes or cellulose) renewable feedstocks for the preparation of (novel) monomers and subsequently study their polymerization (both step-growth and chain growth procedures are investigated) in order to obtain renewable polymers of all kinds (including, e.g., polyolefin analogues, polyamides, polyesters, polyanhydrides, polyurethanes, and others). Moreover, we investigate and design efficient catalytic approaches for the preparation of novel monomers as well as for the post-polymerization functionalization of the obtained polymeric materials.
Polymers with designed properties and architecture
It was always the goal of polymer chemists to prepare macromolecules with highly defined architectures in order to obtain desired properties. In our hands, this general topic includes the development of novel polymer-polymer conjugation methods, the synthesis of star-shaped polymers and dendrimers, sequence controlled polymers, and many others. In terms of properties, these polymers can be stimuli responsive, flame retardant, or drug encaspulating, to only name a few possibilities. In order to achieve this, we apply and develop multi-component reactions (MCRs) and other versatile and efficient protocols, including catalytic reactions. Especially the mentioned MCRs offer manifold possibilities to design both polymer architecture and properties and are therefore a current focus of the group.