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 Publications

  • Gao, H. "Synthesis of Linear Polymers in High Molecular Weights via Reaction-Enhanced Reactivity of Intermediates Using Friedel-Crafts Polycondensation" 2021 ACS Omega, 6 (7), pp. 4527-4533. DOI:10.1021/acsomega.0c06085.
  • Cuneo, T., Cao, X., Zou, L., Gao, H. "Synthesis of multisegmented block copolymer by Friedel-Crafts hydroxyalkylation polymerization" 2020 Polymer Chemistry, 11 (14), pp. 2542-2549. DOI:10.1039/d0py00197j.
  • Cuneo, T., Gao, H. "Recent advances on synthesis and biomaterials applications of hyperbranched polymers" 2020 Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology. DOI:10.1002/wnan.1640.
  • Cuneo, T., Wang, X., Shi, Y., Gao, H. "Synthesis of Hyperbranched Polymers via Metal-Free ATRP in Solution and Microemulsion" 2020 Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 221 (6), 2000008. DOI:10.1002/macp.202000008.
  • Padilla-Coley, S., Xu, H., Morsby, J., Gao, H., Smith, B. D. "Supramolecular Loading of a Broad Spectrum of Molecular Guests in Hyperbranched Polytriazole Nanoparticles with Cores Containing Multiple Functional Groups" 2020 Biomacromolecules, 21 (6), pp. 2165-2175. DOI:10.1021/acs.biomac.0c00151.
  • Zeng, M., Cao, X., Xu, H., Gan, W., Smith, B. D., Gao, H., Yuan, J. "Synthesis and direct assembly of linear-dendritic copolymers: Via CuAAC click polymerization-induced self-assembly (CPISA)" 2020 Polymer Chemistry, 11 (4), pp. 936-943. DOI:10.1039/c9py01636h.

Researcher ID: D-1610-2016; Scopus Author ID: 9234610300; ORCID: 0000-0001-9029-5022

Contact Information

Primary Research Areas

Research Specialties