Welcome to the Synthetic Two-Dimensional Lab at Fudan University!

We specialize in the mechanistic research of irreversible 2D polymerization and the exploration of 2D polymeric materials, whose exceptional properties arise from their distinctive planar structure and a parallel-yet-disordered molecular stacking. Our goal is to harness these properties to advance material science and drive innovation in various applications. Join us on this exciting journey of scientific exploration and innovation.

About Zeng Research Group

The Zeng Research Group, within the Department of Macromolecular Science at Fudan University, is committed to the field of synthetic two-dimensional (2D)

polymeric materials. Our primary focus is on the in-depth exploration of the processes that lead to the irreversible formation of 2D polymers, yielding materials with distinctive properties. We integrate the design of novel 2D polymeric architectures, the synthesis of specific materials, and the development of targeted applications to create a seamless pipeline from concept to practical use. We believe that this integrated approach is essential for fully realizing the capabilities of 2D polymers and for effectively applying our research findings to enhance existing technologies and innovate across various industries.

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About 2D Polymers

While organic chemists have perfected the creation of zero-dimensional molecules and polymer chemists have extended their craft to one-dimensional

chains, the two-dimensional arena remains a synthetic challenge. This emerging field, often described as a “synthetic wasteland” by Roald Hoffmann (Sci. Am., 1993. 268, 2, 66), calls for novel strategies to directly polymerize monomers across two dimensions, presenting a sophisticated challenge beyond the precision synthesis of zero- and one-dimensional structures.

The exploration of 2D polymer is more than an academic pursuit; it also holds the key to materials with unprecedented properties such as ultra-high strength, super impermeability and so on. Again, the quest to conquer the ‘synthetic wasteland’ is not just about creating polymers that are thinner and planar; it’s about achieving functionalities and performances that are leaps beyond our current capabilities.

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2D Polymers vs other 2D Materials

Unlike conventional two-dimensional (2D) materials such as graphene, hexagonal boron nitride (hBN), and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), which

are inorganic in nature, 2D polymers are synthesized from multifunctional monomers through direct 2D polymerization, classifying them as synthetic materials. This organic synthesis grants 2D polymers material properties more similar to traditional polymeric materials, offering a different set of characteristics compared to their inorganic counterparts.

When compared to other organic 2D systems like covalent organic frameworks (COFs), 2D polymers stand out in their synthesis and properties. While 2D COFs heavily rely on reversible chemistry under extreme conditions to form 2D organic crystals, 2D polymers are based on irreversible chemistry, allowing for mild reaction conditions that can be carried out at room temperature and under ambient pressure. Additionally, the irreversible chemistry inherent in 2D polymer synthesis precludes the involvement of thermodynamically unstable dynamic covalent bonds. As a result, 2D polymers offer the benefits of high material stability, ease of processing, excellent reaction reproducibility, and scalability—advantages that are insurmountable in reversible systems.

This distinction positions 2D polymers as a unique class of materials within the broader spectrum of 2D materials, providing a different set of opportunities for applications in various fields.

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Laboratory For Functional Two-Dimensional Polymeric Materials

2005 Songhu Rd., Fudan University-Jiangwan Campus, Shanghai 200438, China

Contact Information

Email:  zengy@fudan.edu.cn

Tel:  +86-21-31242802