Date

Spring 2019

Document Type

Project

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Buck Taylor

College/School

College of Arts & Sciences

Department

Chemistry

Abstract

Polymerization reactions, which create a repeating chain of subunits, are crucial in the development and understanding of many essential materials and biological molecules. This research focuses on the mechanism of a polymerization reaction of monomers containing a cycloalkene and alkyne, which rearrange into a diene subunit under the influence of a ruthenium-based catalyst. This research examines why some monomers successfully polymerize while other similar monomers fail. Computational chemistry techniques (density functional theory) are used to study the mechanism and reactivity of each monomer. Our results show that the productive polymerization reaction competes with a side-reaction in which the catalyst reacts only with the alkyne, shutting down polymerization. A general model has been developed from the results to predict the reactivity of monomers based on the molecular geometry.

Subjects

Computational chemistry; Ruthenium catalysts; Polymerization; Polymers; Biopolymers

Publication Information

Senior Honor's Project

Copyright for this work is retained by the author.

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