Lignin-Based Nanoparticles and Smart Polymers
Smart polymers are materials that are designed to have advanced functionality, enabling a host of new applications. The next challenge in this field is to develop classes of smart polymers that possess multiple complementary functions. Examples include stimulus-responsive materials that are self-healing and pressure-sensitive adhesives that form the basis for nanolithography.
Dr. Chung created numerous approaches to developing these materials while incorporating natural, renewable resources, such as lignin, and leveraging advances in polymer chemistry, such as ruthenium metathesis catalysts. These novel materials can offer significant improvements over current production methods of smart polymers and the application of lignin-based materials. Applications are nearly limitless with properties such as self-healing, shape-memory functionality, and responsiveness to external stimuli while taking advantage of biodegradable, readily available resources.