Dendritic and linear polymers for separations
Gonzalez, Sergio Omar
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Most new fields in chemistry usually began as a curiosity by the researchers, followed by an intrinsic interest in basic biological, physical and chemical properties of reactions, interactions, structural features, and response to external stimuli by chemical elements and/or chemical compounds. If the ?curiosity? has appealing bio-physico-chemical properties this trend is followed by studies on the possible applications of such new fields. As a result, is it expected that these curiosities develop or give insights into new technologies. The development of the field of dendrimer chemistry is no different. In fact, dendrimer chemistry illustrates this trend fittingly. The research in this dissertation follows a similar trend. First, the synthesis of a melamine-based dendrimer is achieved. The synthesis illustrates the concept of using triazines as building blocks in dendrimer synthesis. The characterization of this molecule was followed by a basic inquiry of the properties that were unique relative to its composition. This dendrimer is compared against a small library of similar dendrimers in a structure-activity relationship (SAR) study. From the basic concept of an SAR, we moved toward more applied studies of these molecules. The grafting of organic molecules onto inorganic supports has had influences in the fields of catalysis, separations, and sensors. We developed protocols for the grafting of melamine-based molecules onto hydroxyl rich surfaces. After extensive characterization using solution and surface analyses, we tested the sequestration abilities of these new materials toward the separation of molecules of environmental importance from water. Following the data collected in these experiments, we moved toward a different type of applied technology. The use of linear polymers for separations instead of dendrimers is more attractive from an engineering perspective. We then used what was learned from the study of the separations performed by dendrimers and applied it to the design of linear polymers. We take advantage of a latent solid phase response to external stimuli to remove the herbicide atrazine from aqueous solution to the limit of detection.