The polymer backbone is fundamental to the polymer’s identity and properties. My seminar will focus on the development of metathesis mechanisms to access heteroatom-rich polymer backbones, new editing tools to transform existing polymer backbones into different ones, and both strategies and tactics to depolymerize commodity polymeric materials into valuable small molecules. Specifically, I will discuss iridium-guanidinate catalyzed ring-opening metathesis of cyclic carbodiimides and the current directions toward diazene metathesis, as well as an array of rearrangement transformations—including Ireland-Claisen and aza-Cope—applied to edit the backbones of polymers. Besides the focus on polymer backbones, retrosynthetic logic applied to polymeric materials will be another common thread woven throughout this seminar, as it is a central element of the research in the Zhukhovitskiy group.
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