Flyer, Darryl Boyd talk Slime, Polymers & The Future of Polymer Education

Slime, Polymers & The Future of Polymer Education – February 16, 2021

Tuesday February 16th Dr. Darryl Boyd of the US Naval Research Laboratory will present in the Johnson Group Seminar Series, supported by MONET.
This seminar is open to all.
Attendees need to register here:

In 1907, the 1st synthetic polymer, Bakelite, was invented by Leo Baekeland. Since that time, synthetic polymers have become ubiquitous in the daily lives of billions of people around the globe due to their wide-ranging properties and utility. In recent years, the environmental and biological dangers of polymers have been increasingly made known to both the scientific community and the general public. Despite the awareness of these dangers, the common slime demonstration has remained a staple for those seeking to introduce polymers in educational settings. In this talk, Dr. Boyd will discuss the current state of environmental polymer contamination and propose alternate ways in which polymers can be introduced into STEM education.

Flyer image for Art of Polymers Multiverse concert

Multiverse Concert – Art of Polymers – 1/29/2021

Art of Polymers celebrates the 100th anniversary of artificial polymers in a concert of music and science, in collaboration with the MONET Project. Biodegradable plastics, building materials that change color under stress, structures that flex and unlock rather than break: these are our hopes for the future of polymers. Together, scientists and musicians will explore these ideas in a concert mixing lecture with acoustic instruments (natural polymers) and musical robotics from the WPI Perception and Robotics Lab.

January 29, 2021 @ 7:00PM EST

Anyone can get tickets here for this Zoom concert event.

New MONET Publication – Cross-linker control of vitrimer flow in Polymer Chemistry


Vitrimers are a class of covalent adaptable networks (CANs) that undergo topology reconfiguration via associative exchange reactions, enabling reprocessing at elevated temperatures. Here, we show that cross-linker reactivity represents an additional design parameter to tune stress relaxation rates in vitrimers. Guided by calculated activation barriers, we prepared a series of cross-linkers with varying reactivity for the conjugate addition—elimination of thiols in a PDMS vitrimer. Surprisingly, despite a wide range of stress relaxation rates, we observe that the flow activation energy of the bulk material is independent of the cross-linker structure. Superposition of storage and loss moduli from frequency sweeps can be performed for different cross-linkers, indicating the same exchange mechanism. We show that we can mix different cross-linkers in a single material in order to further modulate the stress relaxation behavior.

Bassil M. El-Zaatari, Jacob S.A. Ishibashi, Julia A. Kalow

Article Link

MONET team publication on inner cover of Angewandte Chemie I.E.

Polymeric metal–organic cages (PolyMOCs) featuring coumarin‐decorated Cu24L24 cuboctahedral metal–organic cages as junctions can be reversibly switched between three redox states in response to light and air.

Photoswitchable Sol–Gel Transitions and Catalysis Mediated by Polymer Networks with Coumarin‐Decorated Cu24L24 Metal–Organic Cages as Junctions

Nathan J. Oldenhuis, K. Peter Qin, Shu Wang, Hong‐Zhou Ye, Eric A. Alt, Adam P. Willard, Troy Van Voorhis, Stephen L. Craig, and Jeremiah A. Johnson

Article Link

Abstract Image from BigSMILES publication

New MONET Publication – BigSMILES Makes Debut in ACS Central Science

Nearly the entire MONET team has collaborated on the publication of this paper detailing a new structurally based representation system that is capable of handling the stochastic nature of polymers. The proposed system hopes to provide a more effective language for communication within the polymer community and increase cohesion between the researchers within the community.

BigSMILES: A Structurally-Based Line Notation for Describing Macromolecules

Tzyy-Shyang Lin, Connor W. Coley, Hidenobu Mochigase, Haley K. Beech, Wencong Wang, Zi Wang, Eliot Woods, Stephen L. Craig, Jeremiah A. Johnson, Julia A. Kalow, Klavs F. Jensen, and Bradley D. Olsen

Article Link

New MONET Publication – Size Control and Surface Functionalization of PolyMOF Nanoparticles in Angewandte Chemie I.E.

Jeremiah Johnson and his team at MIT reports on a simple strategy to access functional MOF NPs in one pot, using a polyMOF ligand that possesses a polymer block for surface functionalization and a coordination block with tunable multivalency for size control.

Yuwei Gu, Mingjun Huang, Wenxu Zhang, Matthew A Pearson, and Jeremiah A. Johnson
PolyMOF nanoparticles: dual roles of a multivalent polyMOF ligand in size control and surface functionalization
Article Link

New MONET Publication – Team Effort Preprint to ChemRxiv

MONET team members at Duke and MIT work together to present a polymer network that can reversibly switch between three distinct states of mechanical and chemical properties, significantly extending the boundaries of state-switching materials.

Nathan J. Oldenhuis, Peter Qin, Shu Wang, Hong-Zhou Ye, Eric Alt, Adam Willard, Troy Van Voorhis, Stephen Craig, and Jeremiah Johnson
Polymer Metal-Organic Cage Gels Based on Cu24L24 Cuboctahedra: Design, Synthesis, and Additive Manufacturing Enabled by Three-State Photoswitching
Article Link