Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Chemistry & Biochemistry


Striegler, Susanne

Committee Member/Reader

Zheng, Nan

Committee Member/Second Reader

Walker, James

Committee Member/Third Reader

Harriss, Edmund


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.