Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin, 2007
(Organic, Organometallic, and Polymer Chemistry)
Research in the Boydston group involves the design, synthesis, and application of functional organic macromolecules in a multidisciplinary environment utilizing techniques in organic synthesis, polymer chemistry, and materials science. The focus of our functional materials program centers on the interface of exciting areas of science including novel designs for responsive polymers, mechanochemical activation of substrates, and new strategies for drug delivery.
Another area of interest is in the development of new reaction methodology. We strive to combine aspects of organocatalysis with electroorganic synthesis to realize metal-free, catalytic redox chemistry of organic substrates.
High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is an incredibly potent technology for delivering high power densities to controlled, localized areas within the body. Harnessing this localized energy in a manner that triggers controlled chemical reactions could lead to new breakthroughs in the design of anticancer nanomedicines. Our group seeks to understand how polymer architecture and composition influence the sono- and mechanochemical responses of different macromolecules. Ultimately we will develop biomedically-relevant nanovehicles that can be used for localized drug delivery and HIFU-triggered payload release.
Achieving improved and broadened synthetic capabilities is key to the development of advanced materials. Thus, new methodologies for the construction (and, in some cases, deconstruction) of organic compounds are vital. Redirecting organocatalyzed reactions down redox pathways is an exciting and burgeoning area in organic synthesis. Our group is targeting new and creative ways to interface electroorganic synthesis with organocatalysis to effect oxidations and reductions of organic substrates in a metal-free manner. By conducting experiments under a controlled cell potential, we are able to intercept reactive intermediates generated during organocatalyzed transformations and electrochemically change their oxidation states.
Larsen, M. B.; Boydston, A. J. "Flex-Activated Mechanophores: Using Polymer Mechanochemistry to Direct Bond Bending Activation" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, in press (DOI: 10.1021/ja403757p)
Peterson, G. I.; Larsen, M. B.; Boydston, A. J. ”Controlled Depolymerization: Stimuli-Responsive Self-Immolative Polymers.” Macromolecules 2012, 45, 7317-7328.
Finney, E, E.; Ogawa, K. A.; Boydston, A. J. “Organocatalyzed Anodic Oxidation of Aldehydes.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 12374-12377.
Momčilović, N.; Clark, P. G.; Boydston, A. J.; Grubbs, R. H. “One-Pot Synthesis of Polyrotaxanes via Acyclic Diene Metathesis Polymerization of Supramolecular Monomers.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 19087-19089.
Xia, Y.; Boydston, A. J.; Grubbs, R. H. “Synthesis and Direct Imaging of Ultrahigh Molecular Weight Cyclic Brush Polymers.” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, 50, 5882-5885.
"A Direct Route to Cyclic Organic Nanostructures via Ring-Expansion Metathesis Polymerization of a Dendronized Macromonomer.” Boydston, A. J.; Holcombe, T. W.; Unruh, D. A.; Fréchet, J. M. J.; Grubbs, R. H. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 5388. •Highlighted by C&E News 2009, April 14, 32.
"Ring-Expansion Metathesis Polymerization: Catalyst Dependent Polymerization Profiles.” Xia, Y.; Boydston, A. J.; Yao, Y.; Kornfield, J. A.; Gorodetskaya, I. A.; Spiess, H. W.; Grubbs, R. H. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 2670.
"Cyclic Ruthenium-Alkylidene Catalysts for Ring-Expansion Metathesis Polymerization.” Boydston, A. J.; Xia, Y.; Kornfield, J. A.; Gorodetskaya, I. A.; Grubbs, R. H. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 12775.