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The Aldrich Lecture - Robert Waymouth

Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Havemeyer Hall, Room 209

The Aldrich Lecture

Catalysis: The Enabling Science for Polymer Synthesis

Robert Waymouth

Department of Chemistry, Stanford University,
Stanford CA 94305

 Catalysis is also a foundational pillar for sustainable chemical processes; the discovery of highly active, environmentally benign catalytic processes is a central goal of Green Chemistry.  Polymers are ubiquitous and are highly useful modern materials.  Catalysis has proven the enabling science for polymer synthesis, as well as a key strategy for generating new monomers from petrochemical and renewable feedstocks.   The development of new families of catalysts continues to drive innovation in the generation of new polymeric materials. Biodegradable polymers derived from renewable resources provide an attractive alternative to many petrochemical thermoplastics due to their attractive and improving cost/performance characteristics, their application as biomedical materials, and their potential to mitigate the environmental impact of discarded plastic waste in landfills.  We have developed new catalytic methods for transforming biomass feedstocks into new monomers and chemical intermediates.  With Jim Hedrick of IBM, we have developed a new family of environmentally benign organic catalysts for the synthesis of biodegradable and biocompatible plastics. Mechanistic and theoretical investigations generated new scientific insights on the diversity of mechanistic pathways for organocatalytic polymerization reactions and the opportunities that these new insights have created for the synthesis of well-defined macromolecular architectures, including high molecular weight cyclic polyesters.

Hosted by Luis Campos

Thursday, October 18, 2012

1:30: Meet the Speaker in 328 Havemeyer
4:00: Tea & Cookies in 328 Havemeyer
4:30: Lecture in 209 Havemeyer

Categories: Academic: Lecture