Dr. Markus Hoffman - National Science Foundation
Dr. Markus Hoffmann, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, received funds to study Solvation in Bulk and Confined Polyethylene Glycol while also supporting undergraduate students to conduct summer research and be training in the research process.
Dr. Markus Hoffmann, Professor and Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was awarded $116,201 for a three-year period (May 15, 2020 – April 30, 2023) by NSF to conduct research on the Solvation in Bulk and Confined Polyethylene Glycol. Aside from supporting the purchase of laboratory instrumentation, the award will support undergraduate students conducting summer research under the guidance of the principal investigator Dr. Hoffmann. The undergraduate students will not only conduct the research at SUNY Brockport but also at the laboratories of professors Buntkowsky and Vogel at Technical University Darmstadt, Germany, with whom professor Hoffmann has been collaborating as “Mercator fellow”, a visiting scientist program sponsored by the German funding agency Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. The project will provide valuable hands-on training and experiences to the participating undergraduate students and prepare them for today's global work environment.
The project will generate new knowledge about PEG as a solvent in bulk and under confinement in mesoporous materials that are needed to advance chemical synthesis in PEG. The new knowledge will be derived from a number of experimental and theoretical studies in two main stages. In the first stage, these studies will provide insights as to how solutes interact with the solvent PEG, and in the second stage how these interactions are modified when the PEG solution is confined in small pores of mesoporous materials. Mesoporous materials have large surface areas and are therefore used to support catalysts that are immobilized onto these surfaces. The surfaces themselves may interact with the PEG solvent and any solutes dissolved in the PEG solvent. The project seeks to disentangle this complex competition of interactions between solute, solvent and pore surface.