Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department


Committee Chair/Advisor

Smith, Rhett C

Committee Member

Bhattacharyya , Gautam

Committee Member

Brumaghim , Julia L

Committee Member

Pennington , William T


The utility of the m-terphenyl has been observed in a wide variety of applications since its first discovery. The tunable conformational flexibility contributes to the unique properties and resulting applications thereof. Chapter 1 goes into detail about the concepts used throughout and defines the tools needed to understand the chemistry in the
resulting chapters.
The primary use of the m-terphenyl herein is as a canopy that shields a pocket created underneath the central ring. Functionalization within this pocket allows metal binding in defined coordination environments. with the use of donor ligands attached to the flanking rings. The applications of these metal complexes are discussed throughout Chapters 2, 3 and 4.
Chapters 5 and 6 describe a different approach wherein the focus was on
exploiting the defined pocket shape to enhance sensing mechanisms. A good sensor must be selective for one analyte over others; this is typically achieved through electronic or steric considerations. The m-terphenyl canopy can be used to sterically control what analytes can interact with the molecule. Applications of m-terphenyl dizinc complexes
that selectively sense pyrophosphates over other analytes are discussed in Chapter 5. The use of a m-terphenyl scaffold in a poly(p-phenylene ethynylene) derivative discussed in Chapter 6 shows how steric porosity control can enhance the rate of nitroaromatic detection by polymer films.



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