• 2101D Shelby Hall
  • (205) 348-8434
  • (205) 348-9104
Paul A. Rupar
Assistant Professor
2101D Shelby Hall The Rupar Group
Education: Undergraduate Degree

B.Sc., 2005, University of Western Ontario

Education: Doctoral Degree

Ph.D., 2009, University of Western Ontario

Education: Other

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2010-2012, University of Bristol

Research Interests

Conjugated polymers, block copolymers, polymer templating

Due to their desirable mechanical properties, ease of processability, and low cost, polymers have supplanted many traditional materials in a large range of applications.  However, despite their extensive adaptation, most commercially available polymers are passive; they have useful mechanical properties but lack advanced chemical or electronic functionality. Our aim is to introduce novel functionality into polymeric materials through the incorporation of inorganic elements.  As our research encompasses the areas of polymer chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and materials science, students in our group will gain experience in the design and synthesis of both small molecules and polymers, and will use a wide range of characterization techniques including NMR, IR, UV-Vis, size-exclusion chromatography, x-ray crystallography, light scattering, thermal analysis, and electron microscopy.  Some of our areas of research:

  • Novel Conjugated Polymers: Conjugated polymers are actively being studied for use in solar energy conversion, light emission, and sensors, among many other applications.  The properties of conjugated polymers and their performance in devices are heavily dependent on the polymer’s molecular composition.  Many of the conjugated polymers currently under study are derivatives of a small number of parent polymer moieties.  Our aim is to develop novel, electron deficient conjugated polymers, focusing on electron-accepting materials for use in solar voltaic devices.
  • Block Copolymer Templating: Block copolymers are macromolecules composed of two or more polymer chains linked together.  In both the solid state and in solution, block copolymers can spontaneously form well-defined, controllable structures on the nanoscale through self-assembly.  We plan on exploiting this self-assembly behavior to template inorganic materials with the goal of patterning novel ceramic and semi-conducting materials on the nanoscale.  We are especially interested in the block copolymer nano-patterning of non-oxide containing inorganic materials.
Representative Publications

“Tunable Phosphafluorene-containing Conjugated Copolymers” Cao, H.; Bauer, Bi, S.; Li, D.; You, Y.; Rupar P. A. European Polymer Journal, 2018104, 157-163.

“The Anionic Ring-Opening Polymerization of N-(Methanesulfonyl)azetidine” Reisman, L.; Rowe, E. A.; Liang, Q.; Rupar, P. A. Polymer Chemistry, 2018, 9, 16181625. *Featured in the Polymer Chemistry Emerging Investigators Themed Collection

“Polymerizations of Nitrophenyl Sulfonyl-Activated Aziridines” Mbarushimana, P. C.; Liang, Q.; Allred, J. M.; Rupar, P. A. Macromolecules 2018, 51, 977-983.

“Recent Advances in Conjugated Furans” Cao, H.; Rupar, P. A. Chem. Eur. J. 2017, 23, 4670–14675.

“Iodine is a Common Impurity in Tetrabutylammonium Fluoride” Brettell-Adams, I. A.; Andreen, A. V.; Bhattacharyya, S.; Rupar, P. A. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 2018, 258, 597-601.

“Bridged Difurans: Stabilizing Furan with P-block Elements” Cao, H.; Brettell-Adams, I. A.; Qu, F.; Rupar, P. A. Organometallics, 2017, 36,2565-2572.

“Living Anionic Copolymerization of 1-(Alkylsulfonyl)aziridines to Form Poly(sulfonylaziridine) and Linear Poly(ethylenimine)” Reisman, L.; Mbarushimana, C . P.; Cassidy, S. J; Rupar, P. A.  ACS Macro Letters, 20165, 1137-1140.

“Substituent Effects on the Properties of Borafluorenes” Smith, M. F.; Cassidy, S. J.; Adams, I. A.; Vasiliu, M.; Gerlach, D. L.; Dixon, D. A.; Rupar, P. A.Organometallics, 2016, 35, 3182-3191.

“3D Printed Block Copolymer Nanostructures” Scalfani, V. F.; Turner, C. H.; Rupar, P. A.; Jenkins, A. H.; Bara, J. E. J. Chem. Ed. 2015, 92, 1866-1870.

“A Poly(9‐Borafluorene) Homopolymer: An Electron‐Deficient Polyfluorene with “Turn‐On” Fluorescence Sensing of NH3Vapor” Adam, I.; Rupar, P. A. Macromolecular Rap. Commun. 2015, 36, 1336-1340.