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

  • Ma, K. L.; Jin, X. Y.; Gan, W. P.; Fan, C. K. and Gao, H. F. "Chain-Growth Click Copolymerization for the Synthesis of Branched Copolymers with Tunable Branching Densities" 2022 Polymer Chemistry, 13 (7), pp.891-897. DOI: 10.1039/d1py01635k.
  • Jin, X. Y.; Ma, K. L.; Chakkamalayath, J.; Morsby, J. and Gao, H. F. "In Situ Photocatalyzed Polymerization to Stabilize Perovskite Nanocrystals in Protic Solvents" 2022 ACS Energy Letters, 7 (2), pp.610-616. DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.1c02660.
  • Jin, X. Y.; Ye, Q. H.; Wang, C. W.; Wu, Y.; Ma, K. L.; Yu, S. H.; Wei, N. and Gao, H. F. "Magnetic Nanoplatforms for Covalent Protein Immobilization Based on Spy Chemistry" 2021 ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 13 (37), pp.44147-44156. DOI: 10.1021/acsami.1c14670.
  • Gao, H. F. "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.
  • Padilla-Coley, S.; Xu, H.; Morsby, J.; Gao, H. F. and 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.
  • Cuneo, T. and Gao, H. F. "Recent Advances on Synthesis and Biomaterials Applications of Hyperbranched Polymers" 2020 Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews-Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology, 12 (6), E1640. DOI: 10.1002/wnan.1640.


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

Contact Information

Primary Research Areas

Research Specialties