Date of Award


Document type


Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Polymer Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Todd Emrick

Second Advisor

Micahel Barnes

Subject Categories

Engineering | Polymer Science


This dissertation focuses on the solution-state polymer assembly of conjugated polymers with specific attention to nano- and molecular-scale morphology. Understanding how to control these structures holds potential for applications in polymer-based electronics. Optimization of conjugated polymer morphology was performed with three objectives: 1) segregation of donor and acceptor materials on the nanometer length-scale, 2) achieving molecular-scale ordering in terms of crystallinity within distinct domains, and 3) maximizing the number and quality of well-defined donor/acceptor interfaces.

Chapter 1 introduces the development of a mixed solvent method to create crystalline poly(3-hexyl thiophene) (P3HT) fibrils in solution. Chapter 2 describes fibril purification and approaches to robust and functional fibrils, while chapters 3 and 4 demonstrate the formation of hybrid nanocomposite wires of P3HT and cadmium selenide (CdSe) nanoparticles by two methods: 1) co-crystallization of free and P3HT-grafted CdSe for composite nanowires and 2) direct attachment of CdSe nanoparticles at fibril edges to give superhighway structures. These composite structures show great potential in the application of optoelectronic devices, such as the active layer of solar cells. Finally, ultrafast photophysical characterization of these polymers, using time-resolved photoluminescence and transient absorption, was performed to determine the aggregation types present in suspended fibrils and monitor the formation and decay of charged species in fibrils and donor-acceptor systems