Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Plunkett, Kyle


The re-emergence of interest in organic semiconducting small molecules and polymers during past several decades can be attributed to their advantage of utility, flexibility, ease of access, and turnability over silicon based inorganic semiconductors. The library of organic semiconductors containing p-type (hole conducting) and n-type (electron conducting) materials have grown in numbers and efficiency. The p-type semiconducting materials hold an advantage over n-type materials owing to their stability and ease of synthesis. The widespread use of fullerenes (C60 and C70) as n-type materials in organic photovoltaics OPVs and their known downsides of poor absorption in visible and NIR region and limited charge carrier transport have triggered the development of non-fullerene based electron accepting (NFEA) materials . By taking advantage of the electron accepting behavior of cyclopenta[hi]aceanthrylene fragment of C70, we have synthesized a new class of cyclopentafused polyaromatic hydrocarbons (CP-PAHs). These new contorted CP-PAHs have been prepared utilizing the modified version of our previously developed palladium catalyzed cyclopentannulation strategy. The target molecules broaden the scope of annulation chemistry to 1,2-bis(5-hexylthiophen-3-yl)ethyne with aryl dibromo derivatives of anthracene, pyrene and perylene to yield 4,4',4'',4'''-(cyclopenta[hi]aceanthrylene-1,2,6,7-tetrayl)tetrakis(2-hexylthiophene), 4,4',4'',4'''-(dicyclopenta[cd,jk]pyrene-1,2,6,7-tetrayl)tetrakis(2-hexylthiophene) and 1,2,7,8-tetrakis(5-hexylthiophen-3-yl)-1,2,7,8-tetrahydrodicyclopenta[cd,lm]perylene. Scholl cyclodehydrogenation of the cyclopentafused thiophene units with suitably substituted hydrocarbons chains provided access to p-extended polyaromatic systems including 2,5,11,14-tetrahexylrubiceno[5,4-b:6,7-b':12,11-b'':13,14-b''']tetrathiophene, 2,5,11,14-tetrahexyldithieno-[4,5:6,7]indeno[1,2,3-cd]dithieno[4,5:6,7]indeno-[1,2,3-jk]pyrene, and 2,9,12,19-tetrahexyldithieno[4,5:6,7]indaceno[1,2,3-cd]dithieno[4,5:6,7]indaceno[1,2,3-lm]perylene. The fully conjugated p-electronic core of these small molecules provide low optical band gaps, decent mobilities and broad absorption. The HOMO and LUMO energies of these CP-PAHs were found to be in the range of -5.48 to -5.05 eV and -3.48 to -3.14 eV, respectively. Besides showing broad band absorption features, some derivative were found to operate as a p-type semiconductor when tested in organic field effect transistors. Anthradithiophene (ADT) is an isoelectronic analogue of pentacene and became a point of interest. A soluble, and functionalizable ADT derivative, 5,11-dibromoanthradithiophene was prepared and then polymerized utilizing Stille, Sonogashira and Yamamoto cross coupling strategies. The newly developed ADT polymers were found to operate in p-type regime when tested in organic field effect transistors. To explore the effects of solvent on growing polymer chains in step-growth polymerizations, we developed a library of Yamamoto and Glaser polymers. The hypothesis tested was that growing polymer chains can recruit further monomer units to create block character in the growing polymer chains. Our investigations reveals that the solvent conditions altering the polarity of the reaction mixture can cause up to 40% preference of blockiness in the growing polymer chains.




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