Dao, Nathan

Project title: Selective Access to a Functionalized Dicyclopentadiene Monomer

Department: Chemistry

Faculty supervisor: Dr. Jeremy Wulff and Dr. David Leitch

"The Wulff group recently described a functionalized form of the industrially important polymer material polydicyclopentadiene (PDCPD). This new functionalized polymer has several advantages over the currently used material, while maintaining the desirable properties of high strength and good stability at high temperatures. However, the synthesis of the monomer (i.e. the starting material for polymerization) remains labour-intensive. In this research project (to be carried out in both the Wulff and Leitch research labs), I will develop an improved route to the key monomer. My synthesis will start from dicyclopentadiene (readily available in huge quantities) and will ideally be no more than 1–2 synthetic steps. The ultimate goal is to provide a more efficient access to this key intermediate, which will in turn facilitate ongoing collaborations with industrial partners looking to commercialize the polymer."