Curtis Anderson, a third year graduate student in the Long Research Group, recently published a paper titled “Redox-Active Ligands: An Advanced Tool To Modulate Polyethylene Microstructure“ in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the flagship journal of the American Chemical Society.
Anderson’s research is focused on the development and utilization of transition metal-based catalysts bearing redox-active ligands. In this report, Anderson found that a particular class of well-known nickel-based catalysts could readily be reduced in situ, providing a controllable and predictable route to polymers with tailored branching content. “This work represents the first example of using a single catalyst to generate more than one distinct polymer microstructure using redox-activity,” said Anderson. This work was performed by Anderson, along with Dr. Jennifer Rhinehart and Professor Brian Long of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Professor Andrew Tennyson, an assistant professor at Clemson University.
“For years, researchers have probed the effects of ligand electronics in catalytic olefin polymerization by meticulously synthesizing libraries of discrete catalysts,” said Long. “While those studies are foundational to our work, Curtis’ recent report provides fundamental, proof-of-principle evidence that the catalytic activity and reactivity of a single olefin polymerization catalyst can be easily modulated via the addition or removal of a single electron.”
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Anderson was raised in Hiram, Georgia. He obtained a B.S. in Chemistry from Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, GA. During his time at SPSU, Anderson performed undergraduate research in forensics under Dr. Wei Zhou. Following that experience, he worked for Dr. Rajnish Singh, studying the interaction of cancer cells with natural antioxidants. Anderson joined the Department of Chemistry at UTK in Fall 2013 to pursue a Ph.D. degree in inorganic chemistry and became a member of the Long’s Research Group in December, 2013. His current research focuses on homogeneous catalysis for polyolefins.
*From JACS website