Daniel M. Knauss




Research Interests:

My current research interests include a variety of topics that range from fundamental synthetic chemistry problems to the synthesis and investigation of numerous types of polymers and novel materials. The research of new routes to aryl ether formation is an example of some of the more fundamental synthetic chemistry being investigated in my research group, with the end result being new and potentially useful materials. A major focus of research has been and will continue to be the development of new synthetic techniques to produce dendritic and other complex branched polymer architectures. I have continued a significant effort in synthetic routes to improve properties of polymers from renewable resources, in particular, polylactides. This work has included the development of new branching techniques and ultimately the study of fundamental properties of polylactides. In my group we have also developed a general technique for the formation of core-shell polymeric nanoparticles with sizes controlled in the 50 500 nm size range. The materials are of different composition than can be produced by other techniques and have the potential for numerous applications.



Dendritic Polymers


Core-shell nanoparticles

Poly(aryl ether)s



Other areas of research are also being pursued. I am involved in a current NIRT submission on the improvement of Organic/Polymeric Photovoltaics with collaborators form CSM and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The project includes the synthesis of new functionalized nanoparticles and the assembly of devices through manipulation of phase morphology and phase interaction to control the interface at heterojunctions. I am also involved with an Air Force sponsored STTR grant on Conducting Elastomers. My group is investigating the synthesis of substituted polyphenylenes by aryl coupling reactions and we are looking at the synthesis of branched polymers by controlled radical polymerizations. In conclusion, my research efforts will be varied across chemistry, and polymer and materials science while remaining firmly concentrated in synthetic chemistry.