Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Advisor

Striegler, Susanne

Reader

Zheng, Nan

Second Reader

Walker, James

Third Reader

Harriss, Edmund

Abstract

New developments in organic synthesis show promise in achieving the best catalytic properties for the hydrolysis of glycosidic bonds through microgel polymers and transition metal complexes. A monomer mix of ethylene glycol dimethacrylate, butyl acrylate, and styrene form miniemulsion polymers after sonication and exposure to UV light. Gravimetrical analysis is used to determine the most suitable polymerization conditions by performing experiments at varying pH values, temperatures, monomer amounts, initiator amounts, and lamp heights. The final data show that the best polymerization conditions are a pH of 10.50 at 0°C with a high monomer ratio, 20% initiator amount, and a lamp height of 8 cm. The studies form the basis for improved polymers that will eventually serve as macromolecular catalysts.

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