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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

Michael D. Barnes

Third Advisor

Robert M. Weis

Subject Categories

Materials Chemistry | Organic Chemistry


This dissertation focuses on the fundamental understanding of the proton transfer process and translating the knowledge into design/development of new organic materials for efficient non-aqueous proton transport. For example, what controls the shuttling of a proton between two basic sites ? a) Distance between two groups? or b) the basicity? c) What is the impact of protonation on molecular conformation when the basic sites are attached to rigid scaffolds? For this purpose, we developed several tunable proton sponges and studied proton transfer in these scaffolds theoretically as well as experimentally. Next we moved our attention to understand long-range proton conduction or proton transport. We introduced liquid crystalline (LC) proton conductor based on triphenylene molecule and established that activation energy barrier for proton transport is lower in the LC phase compared to the crystalline phase. Furthermore, we investigated the impact of several critical factors: the choice of the proton transferring groups, mobility of the charge carriers, intrinsic vs. extrinsic charge carrier concentrations and the molecular architectures on long-range proton transport. The outcome of this research will lead to a deeper understanding of non-aqueous proton transfer process and aid the design of next generation proton exchange membrane (PEM) for fuel cell.