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THE EFFECT OF MOLECULAR DESIGN ON SPIN DENSITY LOCALIZATION AND RADICAL-INITIATED DEGRADATION OF CONJUGATED RADICAL CATIONS
Radical species are essential in modern chemistry. In addition to fundamental chemistry, their unique chemical bonding and distinct physicochemical features serve critical functions in materials science in the form of organic electronics. Due to their high reactivity, radicals of the main group element are often transient. In recent years, remarkably stable radicals are often stabilized by π-delocalization, sterically demanding side groups, carbenes, and weakly coordinating anions. The impacts of modifications such as electron-donating, electron-withdrawing, and end-capping on the spin density distribution and thermodynamic and kinetic stability of archetypal radical-driven processes such as dimerization are not well understood. This dissertation aims to track the perturbation of spin density from EDG and EWG modifications, provide mechanistic insight into the radical-initiated reactions of conjugated radical cations, and establish correlations between molecular design and thermochemical properties and their resulting kinetic stability by computationally evaluating these characteristics against experimental data. The disclosed connections give useful new recommendations for the rational design of thermodynamically and kinetically stable novel materials.
- Doctor of Philosophy
- West Lafayette