New Hydrogen Bonding Modules for Supramolecular Polymer Chemistry

Project Details


In this project funded by the Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry Program of the Chemistry Division, Steven Zimmerman of the University of Illinois will create a practical system of nanoscale adhesion promoters using the tools of supramolecular polymer chemistry. The approach is to further expand the toolkit of multiple hydrogen bonding units, and to develop general methods to functionalize polymers and surfaces with such units. The ability of the adhesion promoters to adhere two surfaces together at the macro-, micro- and nanoscopic levels will be assessed as will the reversibility and self-healing nature of the attraction. The broader impacts involve training undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, broadening participation through the inclusion of women researchers on the project, and continuing to build a summer bridge program for URMs at the University of Illinois, Department of Chemistry.

This work will enhance our fundamental understanding about polymer adhesives and composite materials. Adhesives and composite materials have improved human life in innumerable ways, for example, the latter being found in a broad range of high performance products such as aircraft, Hummvees, and the Space Shuttle. There is a significant need for more advanced materials, including reversible glues, and composites with greater strength and resistance to delamination. For example, the fracturing of a composite material is what precipitated the Shuttle Columbia disaster. The results of these studies could have many important long term impacts on applications in which engineering adhesives are important, including automotive, packaging, and aerospace industries.

Effective start/end date15/07/1030/06/14


  • National Science Foundation


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