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ZACH HOLLINS, PhD

Thesis title: 

"CAN GEL CONTENT IN EMULSION POLYMERIZATION BE OPTIMIZED? CONTRIBUTIONS OF BOTH CHEMISTRY AND PROCESS ON THE CROSSLINKING OF POLYME COLLOIDS"

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Bio

Zach grew up in Windham, NH and went to Merrimack College for B. Sci. in Biochemistry. There, he worked with Dr. Jimmy Franco on the incorporation of an azobenzene derivative into nylon for the synthesis of a photoactive muscle mimic. Zach came to UNH in 2019 to pursue his Ph.D. joining the Tsavalas group in 2020. In addition to his collection of yellow ducks, Zach kept us all organized in the lab and has been our "go to" person for practically everything that the rest of us have forgotten. More importantly, Zach's research has been focused on the fundamentals of emulsion polymerization and largely sponsored by the UNH Latex Morphology Industrial Consortium. Zach's projects centered around new mechanisms, kinetics, and rate constants associated the use of allyl methacrylate in emulsion polymerization as a crosslinker and he also developed a new class of reactive surfactants that we have coined "SurfXmers". Beyond these, Zach has also contributed to our work in design of new cryoprotectants as well as to 3D printing and assembly of multi lobed paticles for the NH BioMade project.

Zach is currently working as a Senior Scientist for Vertex near Boston, MA.

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Project 1: Aqueous Phase Reactions With Allyl Methacrylate in Emulsion Polym'.

Allyl methacrylate (ALMA) is heavily used to prepare commercial polymeric materials. Unlike other commercially used crosslinkers, ALMA is an asymmetric di-reactive crosslinker that contains a methacrylic vinyl ester and an allyl terminal vinyl. Surprisingly, relatively few publications in the open literature explore the reaction mechanisms available to ALMA. ALMA shows great sensitivity to the reactions in the aqueous phase of emulsion polymerizations, as shown in both experimental and computational studies. As determined by quantum calculations, ALMA is 3.9 times more likely to undergo a radical addition reaction at the terminal vinyl when a persulfate radical is used and 1.5 times more likely to undergo a radical addition reaction at the terminal vinyl when a hydroxyl radical is used. These computational results align with the results obtained by varying the initiator and initiation temperature. Overall, ALMA is highly susceptible to aqueous phase chemistry, allowing it to enter the particle early in the reaction when compared to traditional routes, hence forming highly crosslinked networks

See our publications below (coming soon!) for more detail

coming soon

Project 2: blah blah blah - Coming Soon

This space will be used to describe Zach's second project.

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