Haifeng Gao

Haifeng Gao

Polymer Chemistry and Soft Nanomaterials


Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame
Assistant Professor, University of Notre Dame
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California at Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Ph.D. in Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University
M.S. in Polymer Chemistry, Fudan University, China
B.S. in Polymer Chemistry, Fudan University, China

Selected Awards

Army Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award
UMass MRSEC Young Investigator Award
AzkoNobel Award for Outstanding Graduate Research in Polymer Chemistry, American Chemical Society
Guy C. Berry Graduate Research Award, Carnegie Mellon University
McWilliams Fellowship, Carnegie Mellon University


Research Interests

The Gao research group focuses on synthesizing functional polymer materials with controlled nanostructures and understanding their fundamental structure-property relationships. These materials will meet critical needs in the fields of biofunctional materials, environmental remediation and energy conversion. A number of approaches ranging from modern organic synthesis to biomimetic programmed self assembly will be applied to construct these functional materials. By building soft polymer materials ranging in size and complexity from oligomers, to multi-segmented block copolymers, and to shape-persistent hierarchical nanocomposites, various functionalities will be incorporated into these polymers in a predetermined manner. Interesting research projects include:

  1. Developing new methodologies for efficient polymer synthesis and functionalization.
  2. Biomimetic assembly of synthetic polymer chains into shape-persistent nanostructures.
  3. Exploiting nanostructured polymer materials for gas separation and selective adsorption.
  4. Electro-active polymers and nanocomposites.

Recent Papers

  • Zhao, L.; Wu, X.; Wang, X.; Duan, C.; Wang, H.; Punjabi, A.; Zhao, Y.; Zhang, Y.; Xu, Z.; Gao, H.; Han, G. "Development of Excipient-Free Freeze-Dryable Unimolecular Hyperstar Polymers for Efficient siRNA Silencing." ACS Macro Lett.2017, 6, 700-704.
  • Wang, X.; Gao, H. "Recent Progress on Hyperbranched Polymers Synthesized via Radical-Based Self-Condensing Vinyl Polymerization." Polymers 2017, 9, 188.
  • Cao, X.; Shi, Y.; Gao, H. "A Novel Chain-Growth CuAAC Polymerization: One-pot Synthesis of Dendritic Hyperbranched Polymers with Well-Defined Structures." Synlett 2017, 28, 391-396.
  • Qu, S.; Shi, Y.; Benavides, S.; Hunter, A.; Gao, H.; Phillip, W. A. "Copolymer Nanofilters with Charge-Patterned Domains for Enhanced Electrolyte Transport." Chem. Mater. 2017, 29, 762-772.
  • Gan, W.; Shi, Y.; Jing, B.; Cao, X.; Zhu, Y.; Gao, H. "Produce Molecular Brushes with Ultrahigh Grafting Density Using Accelerated CuAAC Grafting-Onto Strategy." Macromolecules 2017, 50, 215-222.
  • Hu, D.; Jin, S.; Shi, Y.; Wang, X.; Graff, R. W.; Liu, W.; Zhu, M.; Gao, H. "Preparation of hyperstar polymers with encapsulated Au-25(SR)(18) clusters as recyclable catalysts for nitrophenol reduction." Nanoscale 2017, 9, 3629-3636.

Researcher ID: D-1610-2016

Contact Information

  • Associate Professor; Director of Graduate Admissions
  • Office: 305C McCourtney Hall
  • Phone: 574-631-8023
  • Send an email
  • Visit Website

Primary Research Areas

Research Specialties