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

  • Cuneo, T., Graff, R. W., Wang, X., Gao, H. "Synthesis of Highly Branched Copolymers in Microemulsion" 2019 Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 220 (6), DOI:10.1002/macp.201800546.
  • Gan, W., Cao, X., Shi, Y., Gao, H. "Chain-growth polymerization of azide–alkyne difunctional monomer: Synthesis of star polymer with linear polytriazole arms from a core" 2019 Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry, in press, DOI:10.1002/pola.29440.
  • Naguib, H., Cao, X., Gao, H. "Synthesize Hyperbranched Polymers Carrying Two Reactive Handles via CuAAC Reaction and Thiol–Ene Chemistry" 2019 Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 220 (17), DOI:10.1002/macp.201900221.
  • Cao, X., Gan, W., Shi, Y., Xu, H., Gao, H. "Tunable Fluorescence from a Responsive Hyperbranched Polymer with Spatially Arranged Fluorophore Arrays" 2018 Chemistry - An Asian Journal, 13 (23), pp. 3723-3728. DOI:10.1002/asia.201801244.
  • Gan, W., Cao, X., Shi, Y., Zou, L., Gao, H. "Ligand effect in the synthesis of hyperbranched polymers via copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition polymerization (CuAACP)" 2018 Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry, 56 (19), pp. 2238-2244. DOI:10.1002/pola.29194.
  • Hu, D., Shi, Y., Du, Y., Yu, W., Huang, J., Gao, H., Zhu, M. "Template synthesis of gold nanoparticles from hyperstar polymers and exploration of their catalytic function for hydrogen evolution reaction" 2018 Polymer, 153 pp. 331-337. DOI:10.1016/j.polymer.2018.08.030.

Researcher ID: D-1610-2016; Scopus Author ID: 9234610300

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