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The Power of Organic Chemistry in Functional Polymer Synthesis

Craig Hawker is professor in chemistry and facilities director of the Materials Research Lab at the University of California Santa Barbara. His research interests span the spectrum of polymer science, and range from macromolecular synthesis to polymer self-assembly and the development of electronic and bio-materials with advanced properties and functions.


The orthogonal functionalization of polymeric materials is a critical design strategy for the “bottom-up” fabrication of nanostructured systems. In synthesizing these nanostructures, functional group interconversion and efficient organic transformations are key to obtaining materials with exceptional properties. The design of multifunctional building blocks for common polymeric materials and their extension to commercial products will be demonstrated. In addition, a novel methodology for printing 3D objects with spatially resolved mechanical and chemical properties is reported. Photochromic molecules are used to control the lateral resolution of orthogonal photopolymerization processes through coherent bleaching fronts, providing large depths of cure and rapid build rates without the need for moving parts. The use of resin mixtures containing independent photocrosslinking systems coupled with a simple LED projector allows for simultaneous and selective curing, providing access to 3D-objects with chemically and mechanically distinct domains. The power of this approach is showcased through the one-step fabrication of bioinspired soft joints and mechanically reinforced “brick-and-mortar” structures using tailored photochromic dyes.



Materials Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, 93106, USA

Research tracks

Chemistry of Materials + Fundamentals & Methods of Chemistry

More information

Craig Hawker's homepage

Plenary lecture

Wednesday 11 December

15:30 - 16:15h


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CHAINS 2019 is organised by NWO Domain Science with the support of partners Holland Chemistry and KNCV