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Doerr Selected for Prestigious Symposium

Alicia Doerr, graduate student in the Long Group, has been selected to take part in the ACS national meeting’s symposium entitled “Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research.” This annual symposium is organized by the POLY division and held at Spring national meetings of the ACS to recognize outstanding graduate students in polymer science and engineering, foster networking and exposure, and help develop the careers of future leaders in the field of polymers. This symposium was started in 2004 and includes both oral and poster sessions with presentations exclusively from graduate students.

Due to this meeting’s hybrid nature, the ACS POLY division created an independent web page to highlight the accomplishments of these graduate scientists. 

Doerr’s research explores the field of redox-switchable catalysis which has gained considerable interest in recent years, enabling catalytic reactivity/selectivity to be oscillated based on the redox-state of the ligand or active metal center. Unfortunately, though a myriad of redox-switchable catalysts have been developed for the ring opening polymerization of cyclic esters, very few fundamental structure-catalytic performance studies have been conducted that ascertain how systematic changes in ligand structure affect the catalytic performance.

This work describes studies used to determine how changes in the placement and number of redox-active moieties, ligand denticity, and active metal center identity impacts the catalytic performance.

The results of these studies reveal that the proximity of the redox-active moiety to the active metal center may influence both catalyst activity and redoxswitchability. Conversely, the number of redox-active moieties present within the ligand scaffold may not play a crucial role in the catalysts’ switchability. Lastly, when Ti-/ Zr-centered analogues of these catalysts were compared it was revealed that the choice of metal center may dramatically influence both catalyst activity and redox-switchable.