Date of Award

5-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Chemistry

Major Professor

Jimmy W. Mays

Committee Members

Gajanan S. Bhat, Brian K. Long, Sheng Dai

Abstract

Conjugated polymers have been the focus of intense research for more than a decade now, and advances in this field are beginning to materialize in the production of high-efficiency opto-electronic materials that may led to the generation of energy without the need for fossil fuels. However, these current materials have not been shown to be capable of reaching efficiency levels high enough to be competitive with the siliconbased solar cells that are the standard today. We embarked on a journey in this work to help the next step in conjugated polymer research be attained. We have done just that through a fundamental study of dilution solution properties of these materials in addition to the synthetic pathway we have cleared so that highly functionalized conjugated polymers may be synthesized that will lead to block copolymers with tailored properties. These materials will revolutionize the field of organic photovoltaics and organic field transistors. The synthetic method for the generation of functionalized conjugated polymers described here represents an approach that can used to impart any number of functionalities onto the conjugated polymer chains which will lead directly to block copolymer systems. We have shown this ability through the synthesis of a diblock copolymer with promise of a miktoarm star block copolymer in this work. The versatility of the method developed here allows for other combinations of polymers and molecular architectures to be attainable in like manner. This work serves to provide other means by which these useful polymers may reach their maximum potential.

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