PhD Seminar – Harry Lu
Aug 9, 2023
1280 Main St. W., Hamilton, Canada
1:30PM to 2:30PM
Date(s) - 09/08/2023
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Please join us next week for Guanhua (Harry) Lu PhD seminar, which will be offered in-person only.
Title: Incorporation of Bio-based Molecules in Silicone Through Michael Addition
Date: Wednesday, August 9
Room: ABB A404
Host: Michael Brook
Abstract: Silicone stands as an indispensable material for numerous applications; however, its high energy-cost synthesis poses significant environmental challenges. To address these concerns, bio-based silicone has gained considerable attention, showcasing its potential to dilute energy density while offering inherent functional benefits. Despite promising prospects, existing incorporation methods often involve protecting groups, rare metal catalysts, and multistep synthesis, which contradict green chemistry principles. The aza-Michael reaction emerges as a superior choice due to its high atom economy and mild reaction conditions. However, it still suffers from prolonged reaction times, hindering its overall efficiency and sustainability. This thesis utilizes self-activated beta-hydroxy acrylates to greatly enhance aza-Michael kinetics, achieving a 3-fold rate enhancement in solvent-free silicone synthesis. This fast aza-Michael reaction acts as the platform for the incorporation of Vitamin C and amino acids into silicone materials. Vitamin C-modified silicone demonstrates the potential for controlled antioxidant activity release, while amino acid-functionalized silicones are synthesized using choline amino acid ionic liquids, presenting a protecting-group-free and solvent-free synthesis method. Moreover, the synthesized choline amino acid-functional polymers and elastomers are investigated on their dielectric properties revealing promising potential for dielectric elastomer actuator applications. These innovative methods offer green alternatives for incorporating hydrophilic biomolecules into hydrophobic silicone systems, providing new functionalities that address both environmental and functional requirements.