Research in the Leibfarth Group

We live in a material world. The ubiquity of synthetic polymers is not only proof of their utility, but also evidence of their transformative capacity. The convergence of organic and polymer chemistry holds the key to making materials smarter, more functional, and more sustainable. From constructing consumables from renewable resources to improving the detection and treatment of disease, functional materials will play an increasingly important role in solving some of society’s biggest challenges.

The Leibfarth group will employ its core strengths in organic synthesis, polymer science, and continuous flow chemistry to develop new methods for the synthesis of functional materials that impact sustainability and human health. Specifically, the group will pursue new methods for the synthesis of biorenewable fluorinated polymers, bioinspired adaptable hydrogels, and sequence-defined synthetic polymers. The overarching goal of the Leibfarth group will be to develop new methods in pursuit of functional materials, develop an understanding of their structure–property relationships, and ultimately provide tools for chemists, biologists, and engineers alike to harness the vast potential of synthetic macromolecules.