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., Gan, W., Gao, H. "Tandem Functionalization in a Highly Branched Polymer with Layered Structure" 2018 Chemistry - A European Journal, 24 (22), pp. 5974-5981. DOI: 10.1002/chem.201800683
  • Shi, Y., Cao, X., Hu, D., Gao, H. "Highly Branched Polymers with Layered Structures that Mimic Light-Harvesting Processes" 2018 Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 57 (2), pp. 516-520. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201709492
  • Gan, W., Cao, X., Gao, H. "Recent Progress on Grafting-onto Synthesis of Molecular Brushes by Reversible Deactivation Radical Polymerization and CuAAC Coupling Reaction" 2018 ACS Symposium Series, 1285, pp. 263-280. DOI: 10.1021/bk-2018-1285.ch014
  • 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" 2017 ACS Macro Letters, 6 (7), pp. 700-704. DOI: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.7b00242
  • Wang, X., Gao, H. "Recent progress on hyperbranched polymers synthesized via radical-based self-condensing vinyl polymerization" 2017 Polymers, 9 (6), 188. DOI: 10.3390/polym9060188
  • Hu, D., Jin, S., Shi, Y., Wang, X., Graff, R.W., Liu, W., Zhu, M., Gao, H. "Preparation of hyperstar polymers with encapsulated Au25(SR)18 clusters as recyclable catalysts for nitrophenol reduction" 2017 Nanoscale, 9 (10), pp. 3629-3636. DOI: 10.1039/c6nr09727h

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