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CHAIN-LENGTH PROPERTIES OF CONJUGATED SYSTEMS: STRUCTURE, CONFORMATION, AND REDOX CHEMISTRY
thesisposted on 29.04.2021, 22:57 by Saadia T Chaudhry
The development of solution-processable semiconducting polymers has brought mankind’s long-sought dream of plastic electronics to fruition. Their potential in the manufacturing of lightweight, flexible yet robust, and biocompatible electronics has spurred their use in organic transistors, photovoltaics, electrochromic devices, batteries, and sensors for wearable electronics. Yet, despite the successful engineering of semiconducting polymers, we do not fully understand their molecular behavior and how it influences their doping (oxidation/reduction) properties. This is especially true for donor-acceptor (D-A) p-systems which have proven to be very efficient at tuning the electronic properties of organic semiconductors. Historically, chain-length dependent studies have been essential in uncovering the relationship between the molecular structure and polymer properties. Discussed here is the systematic investigation of a complete D-A molecular series composed of monodispersed and well-defined conjugated molecules ranging from oligomer (n=3-21) to polymer scale lengths. Structure-property relationships are established between the molecular structure, chain conformation, and redox-active opto-electronic properties for the molecular series in solution. This research reveals a rod-to-coil transition at the 15 unit chain length, or 4500 Da, in solution. The redox-active optical and electronic properties are investigated as a function of increasing chain-length, giving insight into the nature of charge carriers in a D-A conjugated system. This research aids in understanding the solution behavior of conjugated organic materials.