Prof. Wen-Jun WANG's Group

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Introduction

Our research group was established in 2008 by Dr. Wen-Jun WANG in Zhejiang University. The research interest of our group revolves around polymer reaction engineering, more specifically in the design and tailoring of complex polymer architecture and fine-tuning of polymer properties to improve the performance and value of final products. Several highlights of our research contributions are listed below::

 

1) Engineered design of polymer products: Our group developed methods to tailor polymer chains that allow precise control of the structure and composition. The high degree of control during polymerization allows us to design final products with very specific properties, which can be fine-tuned according to the demand for various applications. The resulting polymers have been applied as carriers for controlled-release devices, as flocculants with high efficiency in particle or fiber separations, as polymeric extractant for Tocopherol homologue separation, and as smart surfactants with the ability to respond to CO2 as stimulus. The responsiveness of the surfactant is beneficial in controlling the latex stability, allowing latex to be aggregated and redispersed by simple bubbling of CO2.

 

2) Olefin polymerization and functionalization: We have developed a continuous process to synthesize polyolefin-based thermoplastic elastomers in solution polymerization. Our research group has also made significant contributions to the field of functional polyolefins. We synthesized  various functional polyethylenes with complex topology structure through the combination of palladium-catalyzed ethylene living polymerization with atom-transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). The functional polyethylenes have been used as metal catalyst or organocatalyst supports to improve the recyclability of the catalysts, and as surfactants for making nanoparticles or nonocomposite materials.

 

3) Biomass products synthesis: In order to provide solution to the white pollution in agriculture, we developed polyester-base biodegradable mulch films.  We have also developed a L-lactide-base macromonomer for making a new biodegradable adhesive material with a high biomass matrix content. Our group also focused on developing chitosan-base hydrogel membranes or electrospun fibers to culture melanocytes for vitiligo treatment, an idiopathic pigmentary skin disorder with 0.1–2% of incidence worldwide.