Braslau Research Group

at UC Santa Cruz

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Non-migratory phthalate mimics

     • Nitroxide-mediated polymerization of vinyl phthalate monomers

     • Azide displacement of chloride on PVC; Huisgen cycloaddition to give phthalate mimics

     • Copolymerization of monomers bearing phthalate mimics to give macromolecular plasticizers


Our synthetic organic research is mainly focused on reactions involving free radical intermediates.  Much of the work involves the synthesis and use of designed nitroxides for both the preparation of specialized polymers for applications in nanotechnology, and as sensors via fluorescence quenching. We are developing non-migratory plasticizers to replace phthalates, a pervasive class of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds.  We synthesize new nitrones as spin traps. We are also engaged in the development of new synthetic methodologies.  Many of our projects are collaborations with colleagues at UC Santa Cruz, across the U.S., and around the world.

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α-H Nitroxides to Prepare Tailored Polymers for Applications in Nanotechnology

    • Stereochemistry of Prochiral Radicals coupling with Chiral Nitroxides

          (the genesis of TIPNO in  Nitroxide-Mediated “Living” Free Radical Polymerization)

    • Designed Nitroxides to Prepare Tailored Polymers for Applications in Nanotechnology

        Polymer Chain End Functionalization

        Bidirectional Initiators

        Cyclic Polymers

    • Designed Nitroxides for NMP in scCO2 (collaboration with Fawaz Aldabbagh and Carlos Elvira

Nitroxides as Fluorescence Quenchers

    • Nitroxides bonded to organic dyes

    • Nitroxides ligated to “Quantum Dots”

    • Profluorescent Nitroxides as Sensors

            Detection of Urushiol from Poison Oak/Ivy/Sumac

            Thermally sensitive profluorescent nitroxides

Development and Synthesis of Nitrone Spin Traps

(collaboration with Eric Walter at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Synthetic Methodology

     • Radical [n+1] Cyclizations with SO2

     • Acyl Radical Cyclizations

     • Synthesis of Alkoxyamines