報告題目: ??? Olefin and Diene Polymers: From Birth to Reincarnation
報告時間：?? 2019年5月9日 星期四 晚上7點
Prof. Zhong-Ren Chen earned his B.S. in 1984 and M.S. in 1987 in Chemical Engineering at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, and his M.S. in 1995 and Ph.D. in 1998 in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry under the supervision by 2005 Nobel laureate Prof. Robert H. Grubbs and Prof. Julia A. Kornfield at the California Institute of Technology. He then moved to the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University with Prof. Robert M. Waymouth and to Honeywell Electronics as postdoctoral fellow. His industrial experience also includes 11 years of R&D with Bridgestone Americas in Akron, Ohio. In 2011, he joined Ningbo University as the Sir Y.K. Pao Distinguished Professor, the dean of the School of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, and founding chairman of the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering. Since 2016, Dr. Chen joined the Southern University of Science and Technology and Grubbs Institute as Chair Professor of Chemistry in Shenzhen, China.
Prof. Chen’s research interest is to harvest desired structures of polymers for optimal properties by various chemical, physical, and engineering approaches, with focus on “old” monomers and “new” materials. Interdisciplinary research creates synergies among organometallic and polymer chemistry, polymer physics and rheology, polymer reaction engineering, self-assembly and multi-scale processing, interfacial science and adhesion, as well as failure mechanism and crack propagation of soft materials and composites.
Olefin and diene polymers such as polyethylene are major commodity polymers due to the highly productive catalysts and readily available monomers. However, there are technical challenges to make polyolefins and elastomers as green and advanced materials, such as plasticizer-free and pollutant-free processing.
For example, when molecular weight reaches a few millions, the so-called ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) has superb mechanical properties. Yet due to severe chain entanglement, melt-spinning is very difficult, and gel-spinning uses multiple solvents. Inspired by the silk-worm that makes perfect cocoon without entangled thread, we have been synthesizing “un-entangled” UHMWPE with designed catalysts and controlled polymerization condition, revealing the time scale of entanglement formation, demonstrating that adding un-entangled UHMWPE would greatly improve mechanical properties of solid materials, and furthermore, finding unique processing characteristics such as foaming.
By harnessing synergies among chemistry (polymerization catalysts, polymer design and reaction engineering), physics (polymer dynamics, thermodynamics, and crystallization), materials science (structure-processing-morphology-property relationship, self-assembly and multi-scale processing, interfacial science and adhesion), and mechanics (fluid mechanics and solid mechanics such as fatigue and failure mechanism), we could achieve green and advanced polyolefins and elastomers, from creation to reincarnation.