Kathryn E. O'Harra (email | web | twitter:@KatieOHarra) received a B.S. and M.S. in Chemical & Biological Engineering and a B.A. in Dance with a Mathematics Minor from the University of Alabama (2017-2018). During her graduate study, O'Harra has published over fifteen peer-reviewed journal articles, presented at numerous national and international conferences, contributed as an inventor on several US patent applications, and gained teaching experience to support her future pursuits in academia. She is currently a Chemical Engineering PhD candidate, focusing on the design and synthesis of advanced ionenes and ionic composites for membrane-based gas separations and additive manufacturing applications.

Talk details: Designing high-performance ionenes and ionic liquid composites with tailorable sequencing, hierarchical structuring, and tunable architectures
This presentation highlights our recent advances in the strategic design of imidazolium ionenes and corresponding composites with mono- and multivalent ionic liquids (ILs). The modular building blocks for these high-performance ionic polymers are prepared via established and scalable synthetic routes, which allow for tuning the sequence and spacing of the integrated functional, ionic, and structural features along the backbone; thus, imparting control over the polymer self-assembly and behaviors. These neat ionenes and IL composites are thoroughly characterized, in order to develop structure-property-relationships and to elucidate the effects of the dispersed ionic additives. The suitability and performance of these sophisticated materials as CO2-selective gas separation membranes, shape memory/self-healing materials, and additive manufacturing feedstocks will be discussed.