Functional Polymers and Carbons: from fundamentals to applied materials
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Our mission is to design, create and investigate broadly defined functional polymers and carbons in a colloidal or porous form via simple chemistry and processing. We aim to understand fundamental knowledge and confront challenges in these materials for a better and sustainable society. The team deals with both fundamentals in polymer science and carbon research, and the frontiers in materials science and processing to provide new solutions to environmental and energy issues. Our current focuses are listed beneath.
1. poly(ionic liquid) chemistry for innovative materials.
Currently, one of our key focuses is the synthesis and materials application of poly(ionic liquid)s (PILs), a class of multifunctional polymers that are produced via polymerization of ionic liquids and/or attachmen of IL species covalently to the repeating unit. PILs carry a traditional profile of macromolecules and simultaneously maintain to some extent certain properties of ionic liquids, therefore representing a new concept to build up task-specific functional polyelectrolytes. Our activities on this topic cover new chemical structures. colloidal particle systems, porous polymers and membrane, fibers and responsive materials.
2. biopolymer-dervied functional materials
Constructing functional materials entirely or partially from renewable biopolymers is an important concept towards a sustainable society. From nature cotton and seasand to man-made clothes and filter papers, we have introudced new methods and processing concepts to make better materials. Right now we are particularly interested in biomaterial-derived soft actuators.
3. Polymer-derived heteroatom-doped porous carbons for energy, sensing and catalytic application
Our interest deals with polymer-derived heteroatom-doped porous carbons with well-defined shape for energy, sensing and catalytic applications. Their distinctive shapes include (nano)particles, hollow nanospheres ("nanobubbles"), forms, fibers, and membranes. These carbons are invovled as electrode or electrocatalyst in several electrochemical processes, including batteries and fule cells.
Our new review on poly(ionic liquid) composites is online! Congratulations to Jianke! Chemical Society Reviews, 2020! DOI: to be announced .
Via controlled vacuum pyrolysis of our poly(ionic liquid) membrane template, advantageous features including good conductivity (132 S cm-1 at 298 K), interconnected hierarchical pores, large specific surface area (1501 m2 g-1), and heteroatom doping are realized in a single carbon membrane electrode. The structure synergy at multiple length scales enables large areal capacitances both for a basic aqueous electrolyte (3.1 F cm-2) and for a symmetric all-solid-state supercapacitor (1.0 F cm-2), together with superior energy densities (1.72 and 0.14 mW h cm-2, respectively) without employing a current collector. It is our collaboration work with Qiang Zhao at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China! ACS Nano., 2019! DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.9b03514 .
Poly(ionic liquid)-derived N-doped porous carbon membranes can stabilize atomically dispersed selenium at a high content of 5.9 wt%, and serves as high-performance electrode for Hydrazine Fuel Cell. It is our collaboration work with Hong Wang at Nankai University! Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2019! DOI: 10.1002/ange.201907752.
Poly(ionic liquid) nanoparticles can selectively disrupt biomembranes! Our collaboration work with Rumiana and Markus at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Germany, hits Advanced Science! DOI: 10.1002/advs.201801602.
We could micropattern nanoporous poly(ionci liquid) membranes into complexed shapes! ACS Nano,2019, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.8b07069. It comes from a joint project between MPI-CI Germany and Hongkong Polytech University. Good job, Ming-Jie, Qiang, Jushuai and Karo!