Cyclic polymers possess unique physico-chemical properties compared to their linear counterparts as a result of the absence of end-groups and the equivalence of all monomer units. These differences may be expressed in their distinct hydrodynamic, rheological, optical and thermal properties. Nature has already taken full advantage of the unique properties of cyclic biomacromolecules. For example, circular DNA is ubiquitous and shows increased resistance to enzymatic degradation. Understanding and taking full advantage of the unique character of cyclic polymers require a synergistic effort between the advances in their synthesis and the progress in their physico-chemical characterization.
In this project the student will explore new approaches to synthesize cyclic polymers by combining ring-opening-polymerization, polymer functionalization and click-chemistry reactions. Benefits for the student include the opportunity to work on state of the art instruments for polymer chemistry and polymer physics.
Supervisor: Fabienne Barroso-Bujans