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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Polymer Science and Engineering

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Gregory N. Tew

Subject Categories

Other Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Polybetaines represent a unique class of charged polymers. These polymers contain both a positive and negative charge on each repeat unit so that the polymer itself is charge-neutral. The highly polar nature of the betaine group gives rise to biocompatibility and strong hydration, making polybetaines attractive biomaterials. Ring-opening metathesis polymerization’s utility in polymerizing charged monomers opened up a new avenue to obtain polybetaines. Dual-functional polybetaines obtained by ring-opening the imide group of cationic oxanorbornene-based polymers were previously described. Here, that chemistry is expanded upon to create a broad library of new betaines. First, the ring-opening reaction in oxanorbornene imides is explored in-depth so that it can be developed into an efficient set of post-polymerization functionalization reactions. New betaines based on the oxanorbornene scaffold are then synthesized, taking advantage of this dual-functional chemistry. A range of well-defined, amphiphilic betaines that contain alkyl, benzyl and fluorinated moieties are obtained in this way. Additionally, the more traditional linear carboxybetaine and sulfobetaine structures are incorporated into the oxanorbornene imide backbone as well. These materials then allow us to study the structure-property relationships between the diverse betaine chemistries and their surface and nonfouling properties.