Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department



Smith, Jr., Dennis W

Committee Member

DesMarteau , Darryl D.

Committee Member

Dieter , Karl

Committee Member

Pennington , William T.

Committee Member

Mabry , Joseph M.


This dissertation encompasses the synthesis, characterization, and properties of semifluorinated polymers derived from thermal polymerization of aryl trifluorovinyl ether (TFVE) monomers. This work is divided into two parts based on the methodology of thermal polymerization using aryl TFVE monomers. The first part of this work involves the thermal [2 + 2]cyclodimerization of aryl TFVE monomers affording perfluorocyclobutyl (PFCB) aryl ether polymers. Chapter 1 provides an overview of PFCB aryl ether polymers as a next-generation class of high performance fluoropolymers that have been successfully employed for a myriad of technologies. PFCB aryl ether polymers are highly desired because of their high thermal stability, processability, and tailorability for specific material applications. Chapter 2 introduces a general perspective of polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (POSS) that were modified with PFCB aryl ether polymer for property enhancement, specifically for low surface energy materials. Chapter 3 and 4 show the synthesis, characterization, and properties of POSS modified PFCB aryl ether polymers as blends and a variety of copolymer architectures, respectively. The second portion of this dissertation focuses on the development of a new, facile step-growth polymerization of diols/bisphenols and aryl TFVEs to afford fluoroethylene/vinylene alkyl/aryl ether (FAE) polymers. Chapter 5 is a prelude to the development of FAE polymers which entails optimizing the methodology and mechanistic rationale of nucleophile addition to aryl TFVEs. Chapter 6 details the FAE polymerization kinetics, physical properties, and strategy for functionalization. Chapter 7 illustrates the modular modification of FAE polymers for the development of tunable light emissive materials for potential use as transport layer material for organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and also chemical sensors. Chapter 8 introduces postfunctionaliztion of FAE polymers resulting with sulfonated biaryl segments for the development of proton exchange membranes (PEMs) for fuel cells. Chapter 9 involves the development of bis-ortho-diynylarene (BODA) monomers for the development of high yielding and moldable glassy-carbon microstructures. The adhesion, wettability, density, and coefficient of thermal expansion of BODA-derived glassy carbon are discussed.