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Professor Michael Brook, Department of Chemistry, *McMaster University

Event Date: 
Monday, January 22, 2018 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Should BIMR Worry If Materials Are Green? The View of a Silicone Chemist

Speaking personally, I have spent most of my career worrying about the output of manuscripts from my research, not the outputs to chemical disposal. It would not surprise me to learn that this attitude is common amongst BIMR researchers. The high energetic (upstream) process required for silane preparation prevents silicone polymers from being considered green materials. In this lecture, I will describe our attempts to dilute the environmental impact of silicones by incorporating natural materials into them (Scheme 1). There are both detriments and advantages to doing so. Silicones exhibit very different materials properties from organic analogues. Their high mobility (Tg ~ -120 °C) is associated with low surface energy, mobility at interfaces, permeability to gases and electrical stability; the strength of the SiO bond is associated with thermal stability. The main technical challenge associated with combining silicones/natural materials is the classic oil/water problem; the synthesis of composite materials requires control over the hydrophobic/hydrophilic interface. We have approached this challenge by utilizing both physical and covalent modification of the natural materials. Four separate types of materials are described: silicone-modified proteins, polysaccharides, lignin and soybean oil. The product materials include hydrophobically-modified composites, biocompatible silicone surfaces, and flame-resistant silicone foams.1-4


1.               T. Rambarran et al., Chem. Commun., 2016, 52, 6681-6684.

2.               E. Mansuri et al. Langmuir, 2015, 31, 9331-9339.

3.               J. Zhang, E. Fleury, Y. Chen and M. A. Brook, RSC Advances, 2015, 5, 103907-103914.

4.               S. E. Laengert, A. F. Schneider, Y. Chen and M. A. Brook, Chem. Asian J., 2017, 12, 1208-1212.


Event Location: 
Location Details: 
ABB 165