Several modern technologies are benefited from novel multi-functional materials. In this regard, organic polymers (Porous Organic Polymers and Covalent Organic Frameworks) are a promising class because of their ultrahigh hydrothermal stabilities, tailor-made porous architectures, high surface areas, lightweight characteristic, and high yielding synthetic polymer chemistry. Three key areas where these materials are highly useful but still in developmental research stage are renewable energy applications (e.g.,. 3rd and 4th generation solar cells system), recovery of naturally endangered elements (e.g., Lithium metal), and biomedical science (e.g., cargo delivery vehicles and imaging agents). While renewable energy will make up to 40% of total power generation by 2040 in which solar is expected to be the largest low-carbon power source, the lithium demand has tremendously increased such that the indispensability of lithium in the growing future production threatens a premature depletion in 2025 of the finite world lithium reserves. On the other hand, researchers are still finding a long-term solution for efficient drug delivery and imaging-assisted tumor surgery. The designing versatility and functional veracity of organic polymers can allow us to develop an alternative solution for these socially relevant challenges.
The proposed research aims for (1) the smart design, synthesis, and characterization of organic conjugated polymers for organic photovoltaics; (2) the development of an affinity functions decorated POPs or COFs for lithium enrichment from seawater; and (3) the design and synthesis of single-core system for multi-modality imaging and targeting of diseased species.