Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame




Haifeng Gao

Office:  305C McCourtney Hall

Phone:  574-631-8023


Department Website

Group Website

Current Position
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Ph.D., Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University
M.S., Polymer Chemistry, Fudan University, China
B.S., Polymer Chemistry, Fudan University, China

Research Interests
Dr. Gao’s research focuses on the interdisciplinary field between polymer chemistry and materials science, targeting new methodologies to synthesize functional polymers with controlled nanostructures and subsequently to discover and exploit their novel physical properties. Specific examples of his work to date at Notre Dame include the development of a one-pot polymerization method to produce hyperbranched polymers with uniform structure, the design of an organic porous material with hierarchical pore structures for high performance CO2 adsorption, and the construction of conjugated polymers to study the correlation between photo-excitation and charge separation. These achievements have produced a total of 13 publications, including two papers in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, one paper in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A, two papers in Macromolecular Rapid Communications, and one paper in the Journal of Polymer Science Part A, Polymer Chemistry. In particular, his recent discovery of using confined nanospace to regulate polymerizations and polymer reactions provides a new route to efficiently synthesize nanostructured polymers with sophisticated architectures.

Key Words
Supermolecular Assembly, Controlled Polymerization, Nanostructure

Relevant Energy Publications

  1. D. Lee, C. Zhang, C. Wei, B. L. Ashfeld and H. Gao*, Fast and Efficient CO2 Capture using High Nitrogen-Contents Polypyrrole Nanoparticles, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2013, 1, 14862-14867.
  2. Y. Shi; X. Wang; R.W. Graff; W.A. Phillip; H. Gao*, Synthesis of degradable molecular brushes via a combination of ring-opening polymerization and click chemistry, J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 2015, 53, 239-248.
  3. Z. Guo; D. Lee; R.D. Schaller; X. Zuo; B. Lee; T. Luo; H. Gao; L. Huang, Relationship between Interchain Interaction, Exciton Delocalization, and Charge Separation in Low-Bandgap Copolymer Blends, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 1364, 10024-10032.
  4. K. Min, H. Gao*, New Method to Access Hyperbranched Polymers with Uniform Structure via One-Pot Polymerization of Inimer in Microemulsion, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 15680-15683.
  5. C. Zhang, X. Wang, K. Min, D. Lee, C. Wei, H. Schulhauser and H. Gao*, Developing Honeycomb-Structured Porous Films Using Miktoarm Star Copolymers for Application in Particle Separation, Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2014, 35, 221-227.