Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

James M Caruthers

Second Advisor

Kendall T Thomson

Committee Member 1

W Nicholas Delgass

Committee Member 2

Mahdi M Abu-Omar


Polymerization by homogeneous single-site catalysts is a recent and growing area of research. While single-site catalysts are typically not as fast as heterogeneous ones, their major advantage is that the kinetic rate constants may be manipulated through precise changes to the catalyst structure and reaction conditions. Such a process yields tailored polymers not generally available through heterogeneous catalysis. Two breakthroughs are needed in this field in order to achieve this goal: (i) reliable rate constants must come from experimental data, and (ii) correlations between rate constants and chemical structure must be discovered. At present, the majority of new single-site catalysts are reported without detailed kinetic parameters, in part due to the complexity of simultaneously modeling all polymerization data. The purpose of this body of work is in part to discuss the complex process of kinetic modeling in the context of single-site polymerization in order to promote this activity by other researchers.