Austin Evans

CME Board Member

Assistant Professor

University of Florida

Austin M. Evans is a CME Board Member and an organic materials chemist who is interested in controlling soft-matter at multiple length scales concurrently. Specifically, his research is targeted at producing electronic and spintronic soft-matter through both covalent and non-covalent approaches.  Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Florida, Austin was a Schmidt Science Fellow at Columbia University where he worked on organic electronic materials with Latha Venkataraman and Colin Nuckolls. Austin completed his PhD under the direction of William R. Dichtel as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow at Northwestern University, where he developed new methods to control two-dimensional polymerization. As a graduate student, Austin was awarded the 2021 PMSE ACS Outstanding Global Student in Polymer Science and Engineering, which is sponsored by CME. Austin originally hails from Oklahoma, where he earned his undergraduate degrees at the University of Tulsa. Outside of the lab, Austin enjoys hiking, kayaking, and generally appreciating the Florida wilderness.


2024 CME NASA Symposium Abstract

Polyolefins are among the most important macromolecular species. It is challenging to controllably synthesize polyolefins with narrow molecular weight distributions or copolymerize them with polar monomers. I will discuss a strategy to produce polyolefin-copolymers with precise molecular weights and polar functionality. The ability to produce these materials relies on electrochemically modifying redox-active acrylates through a high-yielding reductive decarboxylation. Throughout this discussion, I will highlight how this strategy can be used to access materials with desirable properties.