Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Chemistry and Biochemistry


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Ken D. Shimizu


This thesis summarizes the work performed on two stimuli responsive polymer projects. The first project used a lanthanide based luminescent polymer to create a sensor array for carboxylate analytes. Initial attempts incorporated molecular imprinting as a means to incorporate unique selectivity into the polymer by introducing acetate, benzoate, and phenylacetate as templates prior to polymerization. This process was successful at creating unique sensing elements for the array, but the polymers lacked the specific selectivity typically seen in molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs). Instead, a ligand displacement mechanism that relied on multiple sensors with different labile anion ligands directly complexed with the europium center was utilized. This system resulted in unique response patterns with the introduction of carboxylate analytes, which were characterized using linear discriminant analysis (LDA).

The second project re-examined our group’s theory about our solvent programmable polymer (SPP). Specifically, previous evidence suggested that the SPPs undergo a conformational change when heated and then cooled in a nonpolar solvent due to a dimerization between the carboxylate functional groups. To expand the utility of this unique polymer, synthetic modifications were made to the functional monomer in order to replace the ring opened metathesis polymerization (ROMP) with free radical polymerization.


© 2016, William J. Richardson

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