Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department


Committee Chair/Advisor

Smith, Rhett C

Committee Member

Dieter , R Karl

Committee Member

Foulger , Stephen H

Committee Member

McNeill , Jason


Research on conjugated chromophores and polymers has been a lucrative and highly active area for over a quarter-century. These pursuits have been driven by the unique properties of conjugated systems that allow their application in myriad fields including photonics (e.g. non-linear optics), and especially optoelectronics (e.g. organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and photovoltaic (PV) cells). Despite the years of dedicated research, there is still much work to be done in developing better materials for these types of applications. The full range of available molecular architecture and functionalization that are yet to be explored is still an untapped well of research.
To this end, the research presented here aims to explore a particular scaffold, a 1,4-fluorenylene unit, as a building block for conjugated systems. This research has elucidated novel chromophores and polymers and explored their properties so as to better understand the influence of sterics on photophysical behavior within conjugated systems, while also improving and devising new methods to be able to synthesize chromophores and polymers that can be tuned to exhibit certain photophysical or electrochemical behavior.
A general overview of why conjugated materials are useful in optoelectronics, different type of conjugated materials, and some targeted applications is presented in Chapter 1. A more detailed study of polymers built on a 1,4-fluorenylene unit is presented in Chapters 2 and 3, while Chapter 4 explores the development of a new polymerization route for PPVs to reduce incidence of defects in the final polymer. Chapters 5 - 7 include a detailed investigation of 1,4-fluorenylene-containing chromophores. Chapter 5 focuses on symmetrically substituted 1,4-fluorenylenes, while Chapter 7 describes the synthesis and characterization of asymmetrically substituted 1,4-fluorenylene units. Chapter 6 demonstrates a new method for asymmetrically substituting aromatic compounds using species that contain phosphonate and phosphonium groups.

Included in

Chemistry Commons



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