Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Jimmy W. Mays

Committee Members

Alexei Sokolov, Ziling Xue, Brian Long, Joshua Sangoro


A mission to manage ever increased energy demands and reduce carbon foot print has challenged scientists and engineers to develop new materials with superior characteristics. In this scenario, lithium-ion batteries have been the dominating technology for not only applications in consumer electronics but also are essential for clean energy storage. On the other hand, the capture and separation of CO2 [carbon dioxide] in power generation and in industrial processes is considered to be a key to reduce the carbon footprint.

Living anionic polymerization along with controlled polymerization techniques has realized the preparation of a wide variety of functional polymers with tunable properties. In this dissertation, we will present preparation of hetero-atom containing polymers using various polymerization techniques and post-polymerization modifications. We also want to explore: how can we employ these functional polymers to solve the current challenging problems?

In chapter 1, we present the review of the state of the art polymer electrolytes for next-generation lithium ion batteries followed by the introduction of current CO2 [carbon dioxide] fixation and CO2/N2 [carbon dioxide/ nitrogen] gas separation techniques.

In chapter 2, we discuss the synthetic methodology and experimental techniques including living anionic polymerization using high vacuum techniques, cationic ring opening polymerization techniques and hydrosilylation.

In chapter 3 and chapter 4, we discuss the preparation of ambipolar polymer electrolytes and polymerized ionic liquids based on polydimethylsiloxane. The characterization, lithium ionic conductivity and structure-properties relationship are discussed.

Chapter 5 describes a novel method to obtain living anionic polymerization of 2-isopropenyl-2-oxazoline. Through our modified synthetic conditions, block copolymers of IPOx are also prepared and microphase separations are studied.

In chapter 6, we investigate the synthesis gold nanoparticle using PIPOx as template. The size of god nanoparticles will be analyzed using TEM [transmission electron microscopy] and AFM [atomic force microscopy]. Furthermore, the interactions between PIPOx [poly(2-isopropenyl-2-oxazoline)] template and AuNPs [gold nano particles] is studied using XPS [X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy].

In chapter 7, we introduce the preparation of amidoxime-modified PTMSP [poly(1-trimethylsilyl-1-propyne)] and its applications on CO2/N2 [carbon dioxide/ nitrogen] separation.

Finally, the research in this dissertation is summarized and future work is presented in chapter 8.

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