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Date of Award


Access Type

Campus Access

Document type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


First Advisor

D. Venkataraman

Second Advisor

S. Thayumanavan

Third Advisor

Scott M. Auerbach

Subject Categories

Materials Science and Engineering | Nanoscience and Nanotechnology | Organic Chemistry | Polymer Chemistry


Can organic semiconducting nanoparticles be used as building blocks for fabricating electronic devices? The first half of this dissertation focuses on addressing this question and the associated research challenges for attaining morphological control pertaining to organic photovoltaic devices by nanoparticle assembly. Conjugated polymer nanoparticles were synthesized using miniemulsion technique and their optical, charge transfer and charge transport properties were studied. Some degree of control in polymer chain packing within the nanoparticle was also demonstrated. The optical, charge transfer and charge transport properties of these nanoparticles were found to be similar to that of parent conjugated polymer irrespective of the surface charge. From the initial photovoltaic measurements, it is shown that these nanoparticles are potential candidates for fabricating future photovoltaic devices.

The second half of this dissertation is focused on developing a novel and viable strategy for sensing aqueous based nitroaromatic compounds. Nitroaromatic compounds are commonly used as explosives and possess serious health hazards. Thiophene-based conjugated polymer nanoparticles were synthesized and were shown to effectively detect aqueous based nitroaromatic explosives.