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Research in the Dingemans Group relies on a multidisciplinary team of chemists, material scientists, and engineers to develop state-of-the-art polymeric materials that drive new frontiers in the field of material science.

Our primary research interests include (1) membrane and separation technologies, (2) rodlike polyelectrolytes, (3) high-performance polymers and (nano)composite materials, and (4) solid-state, polymer matrices for battery applications.

Rigid polyamide membranes for water purification and separation technologies

While most commercial membranes consist of densely crosslinked, isotropic polyamides, the synthesis and fabrication of rigid polyamide membranes presents a unique solution to the structure/morphology challenges that scientists currently face in separation technologies.

Structure/property relationships of rodlike polyelectroltyes in aqueous enviornments

Sulfonated polyamides (sulfo-aramids) represent a class of rodlike, liquid crystal polyelectrolytes with complex solution behavior in aqueous environments.  Recent studies of these sulfo-aramids demonstrate irreversible gelation upon shear, representing a synthetic platform for the development of biomemetic materials.


High-performance polymers for 0D, 1D, and 2D carbon-based (nano)composite materials

Polymers mixed with stiff carbon-based nanofillers remain an elusive combination of materials expected to yield low-density, high strength nanocomposites.  Recent work reveals the simple mixing of graphene oxide platelets with a rodlike sulfo-aramid produces highly reinforced nanocomposite films with exceptional mechanical properties.

Polymers for the development of solid-state electrolytes in battery applications

The future of Li-ion batteries lies in the development of electrolytes with extreme thermal stability in the presence of high-energy-density electrodes.  Currently, the Dingemans lab works closely with the Madsen Group at Virginia Tech to further elucidate the contribution of charge and steric rigidity in a polymer matrix.

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