Name:Thi Viet Tran
University:University of Houston
Personal Statement:Thi obtained B.E. degree in Chemical Engineering at HCMC University of Technology (Vietnam) in 2014. Thi joined Do Research Group in 2015, working on developing new catalysts for ethylene polymerization. Outside of catalysis chemistry, Thi enjoys playing with his cats (Mimi and Mason).
Although polyolefins are the world’s most common synthetic polymers, there are still numerous opportunities for innovations in their synthesis, processing, and materials properties. Polyolefins are such attractive materials because they could be produced from a broad range of inexpensive building blocks and their physical characteristics are highly tunable. A major research thrust in the Do group is to develop stimuli-responsive catalysts that are capable of yielding different polyolefin products from a common catalyst platform, which would streamline polymer synthesis by providing a simple way to prepare user-defined materials. Toward this goal, our lab has developed several late transition metal catalyst systems that could be switched by interchanging their pendent cations. We are investigating how to leverage the unique chemical properties of secondary metals to favor polymerization pathways that are inaccessible using conventional catalysts. We also wish to discover new polymerization methods to synthesize environmentally friendly polymers derived from sustainable resources. Novel catalyst design strategies, such as the application of outer coordination sphere and/or non-covalent interactions, will also be explored.
T. V. Tran, L. J. Karas, J. I. Wu and L. H. Do. ACS Catal. 2020, 10, 10760. “Elucidating Secondary Metal Cation Effects on Nickel Olefin Polymerization Catalysts”.
T. V. Tran, G. Couture and L. H. Do, Dalton Trans. 2019, 48, 9751. “Evaluation of dicopper azacryptand complexes in aqueous CuAAC reactions and their tolerance toward biological thiols”.