In my graduate and postdoctoral training, I have specialized in developing and applying organometallic, inorganic, and green chemistry and catalysis to materials and polymer science, particularly π-conjugated polymers (i.e., semiconducting and conducting polymers). I am interested in developing sustainable and innovative synthetic approaches to make soft, electronically active, organic materials with applications in human health, soft robotics and biological research.
Stretchable Organic Electronics
The discovery of π-conjugated polymers held the promise of flexibility and mechanical compliance that inorganic conducting (i.e., metals) and semiconducting materials (i.e., silicon) lack. The highest performing conjugated polymers, however, are often mechanically weak and brittle. We synthesized compliant (soft) and stretchable conducting and semiconducting polymers that maintain their electronic properties under strain by using a block copolymer strategy or side-chain engineering.
Relevant publications:  L. V. Kayser, M. D. Russell, D. Rodriquez, S. N. Abuhamdieh, C. Dhong, S. Khan, A. N. Stein, J. Ramírez, and D. J. Lipomi,* Chem. Mater. 2018, 30, 4459.  F. Sugiyama, A. T. Kleinschmidt, L. V. Kayser, M. A. Alkhadra, J. M.-H. Wan, A. S.-C. Chiang, D. Rodriquez, S. E. Root, S. Savagatrup, D. J. Lipomi,* Macromolecules 2018, 51, 5944.  F. Sugiyama, A. T. Kleinschmidt, L. V. Kayser, D. Rodriquez, M. Finn III, M. A. Alkhadra, J. M.-H. Wan, J. Ramirez, A. S.-C. Chiang, S. E. Root, S. Savagatrup, D. J. Lipomi,* Polym. Chem. 2018, 9, 4354.
Multicomponent Polymerization of Conjugated Polymers
Despite the utility of conjugated polymers in organic electronics, the synthesis of these materials remains challenging (multistep synthesis, poor atom economy, small scale). We developed an alternative and greener synthetic approach to π-conjugated polymers from readily available monomers using multicomponent polymerization reactions. These platforms can address the challenge of synthesizing semiconducting polymers on a large scale, at low cost, with minimal production of waste.
Relevant publications:  D. C. Leitch,† L. V. Kayser,† Z.-Y. Han,† A. R. Siamaki, E. N. Keyzer, A. Gefen, and B. A. Arndtsen,* Nat. Commun. 2015, 6, 7411. †Equal contribution.  L. V. Kayser, M. Vollmer, M. Welnhofer, H. Krikcziokat, K. Meerholz,* and B. A. Arndtsen,* J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 10516.
Bio-Based Fluorescent Conjugated Polymers
As an alternative to petroleum-based feedstocks, we studied the use of renewable starting materials in multicomponent polymerizations. Degradation products from lignin and cellulose were readily incorporated in pyrrole-based cross-conjugated polymers to generate fluorescent materials. We reported the first example of a bio-based conjugated polymer obtained from lignin and cellulose monomers.
Relevant publications:  D. C. Leitch,† L. V. Kayser,† Z.-Y. Han,† A. R. Siamaki, E. N. Keyzer, A. Gefen, and B. A. Arndtsen,* Nat. Commun. 2015, 6, 7411. †Equal contribution.  L. V. Kayser, E. M. Hartigan, and B. A. Arndtsen,* ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2016, 4, 6263.