Student and postdoctorate researchers in my group are exposed to a broad range of topics including synthetic chemistry, organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, electro-chemistry, photo-chemistry, and liquid crystal science. The subject areas are briefly summarized here and more can be learned by visiting my group's home page.
1.Chemosensors are molecule-based devices that are designed and synthesized to detect a specific chemical signal. Our chemosensory research is directed at harnessing the unique properties of conjugated organic polymers (molecular wires). We demonstrated some years ago that "wiring molecular recognition sites in series" leads to ultra-high sensitivity and that this approach has universal applicability for the amplification of chemosensory responses. The principles developed by our group can amplify chemosensory signals by many orders of magnitude. Our sensor principles are now broadly practiced by many research groups around the world and are the basis of a number or emerging sensor technologies. None the less there are still many basic scientific principles to be determined. Our continuing work is focused upon the design, synthesis, and investigation of novel electronic polymers and receptors.
2.We are developing new classes of Metal Containing Conductive Polymers that contain transition metal centers, for catalytic and recognition functions. Our group has succeeded in making the most conductive transition metal hybrid structures and has demonstrated that these materials have an important new transport characteristics and properties.
3.Liquid crystals are undergoing a scientific renaissance! New liquid crystalline phases being frequently discovered and supramolecular science is making extensive use of liquid crystals as a method for self-assembly. Our interests are broad and include the design and discovery of new classes of liquid crystals, investigations of liquid crystals with high chirality, demonstrations of novel electro-optical effects, development of molecular recognition approaches to liquid crystals, and investigations of new types of polymer/liquid crystal composites. One very useful method for the discovery of novel phases is to assemble liquid crystals from molecules with unusual shapes. Our efforts are focused on transition metal complexes, highly unsaturated organic compounds, and polymers that offer special optical, electronic, and structural properties.
4. The ability to organize molecules into complex supramolecular structures is a critical foundation for the development of future molecular device technologies. We are applying molecular recognition principles for the formation of new polymers architectures and organizations.
5. There are always many new projects ongoing in the group. In the coming year we will be disclosing new approaches to artificial muscles, helical polymers, and biosensors.
Zhang, W.; Sprafke, J. K.; Ma, M.; Tsui, E. Y.; Sydlik, S. A.; Rutledge, G. C.; Swager, T. M. “Modular Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes and Fullerenes” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 8446–8454.
Zhang, W.; Shaikh, A. U.; Tsui, E. Y.; Swager, T. M. “Cobalt Porphyrin Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes for Oxygen Reduction” Chem. Mater. 2009, 21, 3234–3241.
Izuhara, D.; Swager, T. M. “Poly(Pyridinium Phenylene)s: Water Soluble N-Type Polymers” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131, 17724–17725.
Lobez, J. M.; Swager, T. M. “Radiation Detection: Resistivity Responses in Functional Poly (Olefin Sulfone)/Carbon Nanotube Composites” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2010, 49, 95-98.
Song, C.; Swager, T. M. “Reactive Conducting Thiepin Polymers” J. Org. Chem. 2010, 75, 999-1005.
Chan, J. M. W.; Kooi, S. E.; Swager, T. M. “Synthesis of Stair-stepped Polymers Containing Dibenz[a,h]anthracene Subunits” Macromolecules 2010, 43, 2789-2793
VanVeller, B.; Miki, K.; Swager, T. M. “Rigid Hydrophilic Structures for Improved Properties of Conjugated Polymers in Water” Org. Lett. 2010, 12, 1292-1295.
Dane, E. L.; Swager, T. M. “Synthesis of a Water-soluble 1,3-bis(diphenylene)-2-phenylallyl (BDPA) Radical” J. Org. Chem. 2010, 75, 3533-3536.
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