Science Seminar by Bilge Baytekin (Bilkent University Chemistry Department)

Author: College of Sciences

Koç University, Science Seminar

Speaker: Assist. Prof. Dr. Bilge Baytekin (Bilkent University Chemistry Department)

Title:  Mechanochemistry and Electrostatics

Date : Thursday, March 03, 2016

Time:  17:30

Place: SCIE 103



Mechanochemistry: Breaking or modifying bonds in materials by mechanical stimuli (mechanochemistry) has been demonstrated for many years. Although these studies date back to Staudinger, a more systematic approach in mechanochemistry has only been taken in the last decade. We have shown that it is possible to drive mechano-chemical reactions using conventional polymers – by breaking the covalent bonds in the polymers and using the generated active sites (mechanoanions, cations, and radicals) further in other chemicals reactions.  This talk will show examples of using "everyday" materials in mechanochemistry (common polymers, silica, cellulose) to make cheaper, scalable, and more environment-friendly chemical reactions, for applications targeting better health and environment. (In the figure: A Nike Air shoe sole filled with a pre-florescent dye fluoresces upon walking.)

Electrostatics: Our recent findings in mechanochemistry are used to clarify the millennia-old problem of why things get static charges upon contact or friction. With modern atomic force microscopy techniques (KFM, MFM, and mechanical property mapping) we can ‘see’ charges on electrified surfaces and enlighten the mechanism behind electrostatic charging. Finally, I will show how our mechanochemical view in electrostatics can be used to make antistatic polymers, affecting a billion dollar industry, using simple chemistry.



Dr. Baytekin received her BSc and MSc degrees from METU, and her PhD degree in Chemistry from Free University of Berlin, Germany in 2008 under the supervision of Professor Christoph A. Schalley, with summa cum laude. She worked at Northwestern University as a postdoctoral researcher between 2009-2014. She has authored >25 publications in high-ranking journals on topics ranging from organic and polymer materials to static electricity and mechanochemistry. Her research interests include mechanochemistry, electrostatics, molecular machines and soft robots.