Dr. Michael F. Mayer
Title: Associate Professor
Education: Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2000; Postdoctoral Study, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001-04
Research Area: Organic Chemistry
Office: Chemistry 223-C
Principal Research Interests
- Synthetic Methodology
- Macromolecular/Nanoscale Chemistry
- Supramolecular Chemistry
Compounds that consist of many persistently entangled individual structures are also of interest since the properties of these assemblies can be tuned through variation of the proportion of the entangled component species. Examples of persistently entangled polymeric assemblies include polyrotaxanes, polycatenanes and daisy-chain polymers.
Recently, the Mayer group developed a new approach to a stable entangled assembly that is composed of a molecular chain that was threaded through numerous molecular rings by a process known as an entropy-driven ring-opening olefin metathesis polymerization (ED-ROMP).
The Mayer group also recently designed and prepared a shape-dynamic molecular structure, or more specifically, a structure that was capable of sampling both self-entangled and disentangled states. The structure was designed such that it was biased to favor a disentangled state, which was approximately 50% longer than the self-entangled state. The compound was further designed such that it featured recognition sites for certain ions; when these ions were introduced, they bound the recognition sites along the ring and chain, thus tightly pulling the sites together and retaining the structure in an exclusively self-entangled state. Removal of the ions, which essentially served as linchpins, allowed the structure to re-gain its extended state and complete a chemically-induced actuation cycle, thus providing proof-of-principle of a novel nanoscale mechanical switch.