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

  • Cao, X.; Shi, Y.; Wang, X.; Graff, R.W.; Gao, H. "Design a Highly Reactive Trifunctional Core Molecule to Obtain Hyperbranched Polymers with over a Million Molecular Weight in One-Pot Click Polymerization." Macromolecules 2016, 49, 760-766.
  • Shi, Y.; Graff, R.W.; Cao, X.; Wang, X.; Gao, H. "Chain-Growth Click Polymerization of AB2 Monomers to Produce Hyperbranched Polymer with Low Polydispersity in One-Pot." Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 7631-7635.
  • Wang, X.; Graff, R.W.; Shi, Y.; Gao, H. "One-pot Synthesis of Hyperstar Polymers via Sequential ATRP on Inimers and Functional Monomers in Aqueous Dispersed Media." Polym. Chem. 2015, 6, 6739-6745.
  • Shi, Y.; Wang, X.F.; Graff, R.W.; Phillip, W.A.; Gao, H.F. "Synthesis of Degradable Molecular Brushes via a Combination of Ring-Opening Polymerization and Click Chemistry." J. Polym. Sci. Pol. Chem. 2015, 53 (2), 239-248.
  • Lee. D; Zhang, C.Y., Gao, H.F. "Facile Production of Polypyrrole Nanofibers Using a Freeze-Drying Method." Macromol. Chem. Physics 2014, 215 (7), 669-674.
  • Zhang, C.Y.; Wang, X.F.; Min, K.; Lee, D.; Wei, C.; Schulhauser, H.; Gao, H.F. "Developing Porous Honeycomb Films Using Miktoarm Star Copolymers and Exploring Their Application in Particle Separation." Macromol. Rapid Comm. 2014, 35 (2), 221.227.

Contact Information

Primary Research Areas

Research Specialties