Portrait of Qianli Rick Chu

Qianli Rick Chu

  • Assoc. Professor, Chemistry
    • Sustainable Materials, Green Chemistry, Photochemistry, Frugal Innovation, Crystal Engineering, Organic Synthesis

Contact Info

Office Address

Abbott Hall Rm 235
151 Cornell St Stop 9024
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9024


Sustainable Materials and Photochemistry

The main focus of our research group is the synthesis of sustainable materials using photoreaction, as well as the development of photochemistry.  Many of these sustainable materials (e.g., degradable polymers) are constructed from biomass-derived building blocks such as furfural and glycerol and may be used in a variety of applications in green technology.  Our studies also offer new opportunities for molecular-level investigations of structure–property relationship.  Construction and characterization of sustainable organic materials is an interdisciplinary pursuit that requires knowledge of not only polymer chemistry but also organic synthesis, photochemistry, and sustainable sciences etc.  It is a crucible within which several traditional disciplines are combined to form a new branch of science, thus representing a challenge to researchers.  The diverse backgrounds of our group members offer us opportunities to learn from each other about all of the scientific fields necessary for preparing our synthetic targets. 

45. Wang, Z. D.; Elliott, Q.; Wang, Z.; Setien, R. A.; Puttkammer, J.; Ugrinov, A.; Lee, J.; Webster, D. C.*; Chu, Q. R.* "Furfural-Derived Diacid Prepared by Photoreaction for Sustainable Materials Synthesis" ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2018, 6, 8136–8141. (link)

44. Chu, Q.; Duncan, A. J. E.; Papaefstathiou, G. S.; Hamilton, T. D.; Atkinson, M. B. J.; Mariappan, S. V. S.; MacGillivray, L. R., "Putting Cocrystal Stoichiometry to Work: A Reactive Hydrogen-Bonded "Superassembly" Enables Nanoscale Enlargement of a Metal-Organic Rhomboid via a Solid-State Photocycloaddition" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 4940-4944. (link)

43. Wang, Z.; Miller, B.; Butz, J.; Randazzo, K.; Wang, Z. D.; and Chu, Q. R.* “Polyladderane Constructed from Gemini Monomer via Photoreaction” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 12155-12159. (link)

42. Wang, Z.; Miller, B.; Mabin, M.; Shahni, R.; Wang, Z. D.; Ugrinov, A.; Chu, Q. R.*Cyclobutane-1,3-Diacid (CBDA): A Semi-Rigid Building Block Prepared by [2+2] Photocyclization for Polymeric Materials” Sci. Rep. 2017, 7, 13704. (link)

41. Hou, X.; Butz, J.; Chen, J.; Wang, Z. D.; Zhao, J. X.; Shiu, T.; Chu, Q. R.* “Low Molecular Weight Organogelators Derived from Threefold Symmetric Tricarbamates” Tetrahedron Lett. 2017, 58, 101–105. (Front Cover of the 1st Issue in 2017)

40. Randazzo, K.; Wang, Z.; Wang, Z. D.; Butz, J.; Chu, Q. R.* “Lighting the Way to Greener Chemistry: Incandescent Floodlights as a Facile UV Light Source for Classic and Cutting-Edge Photoreactions” ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2016, 4, 5053-5059. (link)

39. Wang, Z.; Kastern, B.; Randazzo, K.; Ugrinov, A.; Butz, J.; Seals, D.; Sibi, M. P. and Chu Q. R.* “Linear Polyester Synthesized from Furfural-based Monomer by Photoreaction in Sunlight” Green Chem. 2015, 17(10), 4720-4724 (Featured as a Cover Story).

38. Wang, Z.; Randazzo, K.; Hou, X.; Simpson, J.; Struppe, J.; Ugrinov, A.; Kastern, B.; Wysocki, E.; Chu, Q. R.* “Stereoregular Two-Dimensional Polymers Constructed by Topochemical Polymerization. Macromolecules. 2015, 48(9), 2894-2900. (link)

37. Hou, X.; Wang, Z.; Overby, M.; Ugrinov, A.; Oian, C.; Singh, R.; and Chu Q.* “A Two-Dimensional Hydrogen Bonded Organic Framework Self-Assembled from a Three-Fold Symmetric Carbamate” Chem. Commun. 2014, 50, 5209-5211. (Invited, Emerging Investigators Themed Issue 2014)

36. Chen, J.; Wu, X.; Hou, X.; Su, X.; Chu, Q.; Fahruddin, N.; and Zhao J.* “Shape-Tunable Hollow Silica Nanomaterials Based on Soft-templating Method and Their Application as Drug Carrier” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2014, 6, 21921–21930. (link)

35. Wang, Z.; Lee, J.; Oian, C.; Hou, X.; Wang, Z.; Ugrinov, A.; Singh, R. K.; Wysocki, E.; Chu Q. R.* “An Unsaturated Hydrogen Bonded Network Generated from Three-fold Symmetric Carbamates” CrystEngComm 2014, 16, 1776-1779. (Invited, North America 2014 IYCr Celebration Themed Issue)  

34. Hou, X.; Wang, Z.; Lee, J.; Wysocki, E.; Oian, C.; Schlak, J.; and Chu Q.* “Synthesis of Polymeric Ladders by Topochemical Polymerization” Chem. Commun. 2014, 50, 1218-1220. (link) 

University of Pittsburgh, PA                                Post-doc, 2006 – 2009
Fluorous Tech. Inc., Pittsburgh, PA                      Post-doc, 2005 – 2006
University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA                             Ph.D., 2001 – 2005
Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, P.R.China    R.A., 1997 – 2001
Shanghai University, P.R.China                                B.Sc., 1993 – 1997