The Klausen Research Group

Innovative synthetic chemistry for energy-relevant materials.

Structure determines function.

Strategic synthesis is a powerful tool for the construction of complex functional chemical architectures. We design and synthesize novel molecular building blocks to construct exciting new polymeric materials.

Research in the Klausen Group focuses on the synthesis of new molecular and macromolecular architectures, as well as new synthetic solutions to materials otherwise inaccessible from traditional feedstocks. Recent results from both programs are highlighted below.

Poly(cyclosilane)s are a new class of conductive polymers inspired by crystalline silicon, the semiconductor behind solar cells and computer chips. These materials have promise as low-cost replacements for silicon itself.
BN 2-Vinylnaphthalene (BN2VN) is a versatile vinyl monomer that exhibits styrene-like reactivity. Postpolymerization functionalization provides polymeric materials that cannot be made from traditional feedstocks, such as the styrene-vinyl alcohol statistical copolymer or highly syndiotactic polyvinyl alcohol.
We uncovered a new property and application space for Si-Si containing polymers. By synthesizing novel polymers containing both C and Si in the backbone (ring-opening metathesis polymerization, ROMP, or acyclic diene metathesis, ADMET) we could obtain single molecule force spectroscopy data indicating a reduction in single chain elasticity. This work is done in collaboration with members of the NSF Center for the Chemistry of Molecularly Optimized Networks (MONET).