Our Research

MONET addresses a longstanding knowledge gap: there is currently no direct and quantitative method to connect the single molecular behavior of the components of a polymer network to the full range of physical behaviors of that network. In doing so, we address an additional, longstanding conceptual gapstrands and junctions that are simultaneously structurally active and chemically reactive hold the key to dynamic materials with enhanced operational performance and improved end-of-life value. Filling these gaps will disrupt preconceived notions of what polymer networks are capable of, by making low-flow structural thermosets recyclable and reprocessable, soft hydrogels as strong as steel, and lending to soft polymer networks the catalytic abilities of hard solid-state materials.

We envision a legacy of transformation on three different fronts.

  1. Fundamental chemical advances. By making direct and quantitative connections between the chemistry of a polymer network’s individual components and the full range of its physical behaviors, we will recast a major field of study as a fully chemistry-centered sub-discipline that extends our understanding and application of fundamental chemical principles.
  2. Conceptual advances. The impact of new forms of embedded covalent response, such as reactive strand extension, on network properties will lead to never-before-seen improvements in the limits to which polymer gels and elastomers can be stretched and the energy they can absorb.
  3. Technological advances. Chemical methods for network remodeling will rewrite existing end-of-life rules for polymer network materials, by combining the properties of existing thermosets with efficient resetting and recycling to improve performance, extend lifetime, and minimize waste stream.

MONET’s Scientific Accomplishments

MONET’s Publications