Faced with a growing global population, an aging domestic population, and limited natural resources, advanced materials represent a promising solution to challenges in clean energy and human health. The rapid identification and testing of materials with designed performance and properties is essential to technological advancement in a range of fields. Innovations at the interface of synthetic chemistry and materials science are necessary for materials discovery to keep pace with the evolving demands of the modern world.
The Kalow group is interested in discovering synthetic transformations that access organic materials, and controlling functional materials by manipulating reactivity. Macromolecules offer unique opportunities to translate molecular design into physical properties and structural features at the nano- to macroscale. By introducing energy in the form of light, we can spatiotemporally control monomer activation and tune materials’ properties and functions. A guiding principle in our research is the detailed understanding of reaction mechanism to drive optimization, discover new opportunities, and uncover general insights.
Applications of this research include optoelectronic and magnetooptic devices, sustainable polymers, and responsive hydrogels for biomedicine. Students will gain experience in method development, polymer synthesis, mechanistic analysis, and materials characterization and testing.