Design, Synthesis, and Characterization of Ionically Functionalized Conjugated Polymers with Varying Ion Density and Type
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Phenylene-based conjugated polymers are of interest for their fascinating electronic and optical properties. The introduction of bound ions into these materials adds great versatility because it can affect solubility, aggregation properties, doping chemistry, luminescence, and response to electrical stimuli. Despite ionic density being a central materials parameter in ionically functionalized conjugated polymers (IFCPs), it has been explored only in limited ranges. The primary advance reported in this dissertation is the development of three complementary synthetic routes to anionic and cationic poly(fluorene)s where the density of ionic functional groups was systematically varied between 0.05 and 0.5 per phenylene unit. There have been very few reports of IFCPs in this range. The three routes all use the Suzuki polycondensation reaction (SPR) to form poly[(R-fluorene)-co-alt-(R'-fluorene)] (PFF) IFCPs, and they differ from one another in when ionic functionality is introduced to the polymer. The development of these approaches grew out of studies on the SPR as it applies to ionically functionalized monomers, specifically, complications created by the two-phase nature of typical Suzuki couplings. In the first route, ions are added to the monomer and directly polymerized into the polymer using a single-phase SPR made possible by using oligoether functionality and a judiciously chosen solvent system. This route was used in the synthesis of a family of sulfonate and oligoether containing PFFs. In the second and third routes, ionic functionality is added after the polymer is formed either in solution or in solid films, respectively. The use of all nonionic monomers during the SPR avoided the complications encountered with two-phase reactions involving ionic monomers. The precursor polymers synthesized for these routes included a family of hexyl and bromohexyl containing PFFs and a family of oligoether and bromohexyl containing PFFs. The former were used to demonstrate post-polymerization quaternization to form cationic PFFs in solid films, and the later were quaternized in solution to yield soluble cationic PFFs. All of the polymers had very similar optical properties with the wavelengths of maximum absorption and emission in the range of 370-385 and 416-425 nm, respectively, and molecular weights greater than 10kDa and exhibited both positive and negative solvatofluorchromism due to aggregation phenomena.