Prof Selim Kusefoglu Research Areas

The main area of interest in our group is the synthesis and characterization of new polymers. For the last 10 years the main thrust of our research group has been the synthesis of rigid polymers from plant oils. In this day and age of dwindling petroleum resources, plant oils have become a viable raw material for polymer synthesis. They are renewable, carbon neutral , biodegradable and cheap.

Our group uses novel chemistry to convert the fatty acid triglycerides that make up plant oils into polymerizable monomers. After synthesis these new polymers are characterized chemically by NMR, FTIR, UV, etc and physically by DMA,TGA, DSC, etc methods. So we are a group that relies heavily on instrumental analysis. We have so far synthesized upwards of 500 new polymers from soybean oil. Among these about 15 are promising as commercially useful materials. Our group has about 40 publications on this subject. Please see the publication pages for a detailed description of our most recent research projects.

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We also work with unsaturated polyesters , glass fibers and the interface between the fiber and the matrix in composites. We even have a plant oil based coupling agent that has very promising properties. We are doing interesting work on polymeric surfaces and polymer interfaces. We have about 8 publications in this field.

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Our lab is a place where new compounds are produced almost every day, but it is foremost a place for collective learning. Join us and learn with us...