Polyaminoboranes [RNH-BH2]n, isoelectronic analogues of the industrially ubiquitous linear polyolefins [RCH-CH2]n , are an exciting class of main-group polymers with potentially interesting properties and applications. These polymers have recently become accessible for a very restricted number of amine-borane substrates. However, key limitations exist in terms of the scope and control of the polymerization. In order to allow the extensive development of this novel polymer system the mechanism of the metal-catalysed polymerization needs to be probed and understood and the design of new catalysts thereby enabled.
This proposal aims to exploit the experience of Dr. Erin Leitao in elucidating mechanisms and catalyst design, which she gained during her Ph.D. in a leading research group in Canada, to allow the development of polyaminoboranes. The proposed research will also take advantage of the experience of the host, Prof. Ian Manners at the University of Bristol, UK, in the areas of boron-nitrogen molecules and polymers, and polymer and materials science. Thus, embedding Dr. Leiteo in Prof. Manners lab will lead to mutually beneficial interactions and will permit the project’s ambitious goals to be met.
The proposal is both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary in nature, and involves aspects of synthetic main group chemistry, mechanistic chemistry, catalytic chemistry, main group polymer chemistry, and polymer and materials science. The project will significantly enhance Europe’s position in the fields of i) energy and ii) materials and new production technologies, which are recognized as important strategic areas. After the applicant’s fellowship is over, she plans to return to North America to take up an academic position at a top university in Canada.
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