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Design of hybrid conjugated polymer materials: 1) Novel inorganic/organic hybrid semiconductors and 2) Surface modification via grafting approaches

Joseph J Peterson, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The research presented in this dissertation focuses on the design and synthesis of novel hybrid conjugated polymer materials using two different approaches: (1) inorganic/organic hybrid semiconductors through the incorporation of carboranes into the polymer structure and (2) the modification of surfaces with conjugated polymers via grafting approaches. Hybrid conjugated polymeric materials, which are materials or systems in which conjugated polymers are chemically integrated with non-traditional structures or surfaces, have the potential to harness useful properties from both components of the material to help overcome hurdles in their practical realization in polymer-based devices. This work is centered around the synthetic challenges of creating new hybrid conjugated systems and their potential for advancing the field of polymer-based electronics through both greater understanding of the behavior of hybrid systems, and access to improved performance and new applications. Chapter 1 highlights the potential applications and advantages for these hybrid systems, and provides some historical perspective, along with relevant background materials, to illustrate the rationale behind this work. Chapter 2 explores the synthesis of poly(fluorene)s with pendant carborane cages. The Ni(0) dehalogenative polymerization of a dibromofluorene with pendant carborane cages tethered to the bridging 9-position produced hybrid polymers produced polymers which combined the useful emissive characteristics of poly(fluorene) with the thermal and chemical stability of carborane cages. The materials were found to display increased glass transition temperatures and showed improved emission color stability after annealing at high temperatures relative to the non-hybrid polymer. The design and synthesis of a poly(fluorene)-based hybrid material with carborane cages in the backbone, rather than as pendant groups, begins in chapter 3. Poly(fluorene) with p-carborane in the backbone is synthesized and characterized, and the material is found to be a high MW, soluble blue emitter which shows a higher glass transition temperature and greater stability than a non-hybrid polymer. UV absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy indicated some electronic interaction between the conjugated polymer and the cages, but they did not appear to be fully conjugated in the traditional sense. Chapter 4 describes the design, synthesis, and characterization of poly(fluorene) with o-carborane in the backbone. Profound changes in the behavior of the polymer, from its polymerization behavior to its emission characteristics, were observed and their origins are discussed. Experiments to explore the nature of the cage/polymer interactions were performed and possible applications which take advantage of the unique nature of the o-carborane hybrid polymer are explored and discussed. Hybrid conjugated polymer materials via grafting approaches to surfaces and surface modification are discussed starting in chapter 5. The synthesis of a dibromofluorene-based silane coupling agent for the surface functionalization of oxide surfaces is presented, and the surface directed Ni(0) dehalogenative polymerization of poly(dihexylfluorene) is explored. Chapter 6 focuses on the exploration of conjugated polymer/cellulose hybrid materials. Surface medication of cellulose materials with monomer-like anchor points is discussed. Grafting of the modified cellulose with conjugated polymers was explored and the grafting of three different repeat structures based on fluorene-, fluorenevinylene-, and fluoreneethynylene motifs were optimized to provide a general route to cellulose/conjugated polymer hybrid materials. Characterization and possible applications of such hybrid materials are discussed. Finally, chapter 7 is devoted to the simultaneous surface patterning and functionalization of poly(2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate) thin films using a silane infusion-based wrinkling technique. While not a conjugated polymer system, the spontaneous patterning and functionalization methods explored in this chapter produce hybrid organic/inorganic polymer thin films which have applications that range from optics, to adhesion, to polymer-based electronics, and the research compliments the other chapters. The spontaneous generation of complex patterns, of a small scale approaching 100nm feature size, over a large area with simultaneous control over surface chemistry is explored. Examples of complex, hierarchically patterned films which integrate lithographic processes such as nanoimprint lithography and electron beam lithography with spontaneous patterning via wrinkling are presented.

Subject Area

Polymer chemistry|Political science|Materials science

Recommended Citation

Peterson, Joseph J, "Design of hybrid conjugated polymer materials: 1) Novel inorganic/organic hybrid semiconductors and 2) Surface modification via grafting approaches" (2012). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3498406.