Blocky Functionalization of Thermo-Reversible sPS and PEEK Gels (Moore - Va Tech)


“Blocky Functionalization of Thermo-Reversible sPS and PEEK Gels”

Prof. Robert B. Moore
Department of Chemistry
Virginia Tech University

NOTE - Location is Hilton Garden Inn in San Mateo


Recent findings from the ion-containing polymer membrane community have taught us the importance of controlled sequencing of ionic groups along polymer chains in the development of ordered polar domains for enhanced transport properties. When compared on an equal ion content basis, a blocked arrangement of ionic groups along polymer chains tends to produce more ordered nano-phase-separated domains while preserving the inherent properties of the unfunctionalized homopolymer over that of analogous random ionomers. Inspired by these demonstrated enhancements, we have begun to explore the impact of variable post-polymerization sulfonation reactions on the spatial distribution of functional groups in ionomers. Very recently, we have discovered a non-functionalizing solvent for PEEK that allows for a homogeneous sulfonation reaction. Surprisingly, this new solvent also allows for the formation of a thermo-reversible gel. Following a method we previously developed to sulfonate syndiotactic polystyrene (sPS) in the gel state, we are now able to prepare a blocky form of sulfonated PEEK that has a high degree of sulfonation and a high degree of crystallinity. A broader impact of this research involves the first development of PEEK hydrogels and aerogels with remarkable physical properties.

Speaker Background

Robert B. Moore is the Director of the Macromolecular Science and Engineering (MACR) graduate degree program, and a Full Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Virginia Tech. Professor Moore received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Texas A&M University, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Chemistry at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. In 1991, he joined the faculty of the Department of Polymer Science at The University of Southern Mississippi, where he served for 17 years. In 2007, he moved to Virginia Tech to join the faculty in the Department of Chemistry. Research in the Moore group is focused on processing-morphology-property relationships of functionalized, semi-crystalline polymers (specifically ionomers) to understand the role of specific interactions in morphological development. The Moore research group is actively involved in discovery and development of new polymeric materials for applications in proton exchange membrane fuel cells, thermoreversible gels, nanostructured electrodes and electrolytes for batteries, and compatibilized blends and nanocomposites.


Wednesday, March 1, 2016


Hilton Garden Inn
2000 Bridgepoint Circle
San Mateo, CA



6 PM social hour
7 PM dinner
8 PM lecture


Employed/postdoc Student/unemployed/retired
Early Registration  $30 $15
Registration $35 $20
Walk-in (not guaranteed) $40 $25

Lecture-only is free.



We accept cash or checks at the door, or online payment via credit card. No-shows are responsible for full payment of registration fee.


Please register below or contact:

Len Radzilowski
phone: 650-361-3264

Deadline for registration:

11:59PM, Friday, February 17 for early registration discount.
5:00PM, Tuesday, Februrary 22 for regular registration.

Dinner Selection:

Seafood - Tortilla crusted tilapia
Chicken - Chicken teriyaki
Vegetarian - Vegetarian lasagna

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