Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. John E. Anthony


Acenes have been explored by a number of research groups in the field of organic electronics with a particular emphasis on transistor materials. This group has been actively studying acene‐based organic semiconductors for more than a decade using a crystal engineering approach and has developed acene derivatives for applications in field‐effect transistors, light‐emitting diodes, and photovoltaics. In addition to organic electronics, crystal engineering has important applications in a number of other fields, quite notably in the design of metal‐organic frameworks. Chapters 2 and 3 of this dissertation focus on applying crystal engineering to the synthesis of acene derivatives for use as solid‐state, long‐wavelength fluorescent organic dyes in the field of biomedical imaging. More specifically, this work studied the synthesis and properties of dioxolane‐functionalized pentacenes and hexacenes. One of these pentacene derivatives has already been demonstrated in biomedical imaging which may lead to improved treatment of tuberculosis. The dioxolane‐functionalized hexacene is still under evaluation for bioimaging applications. Chapters 4 and 5 focus on crystal engineering in relation to organic electronics. Chapter 4 deals with fine‐tuning of crystal packing and demonstrated that small differences in molecular structure can result in significant changes to the solid‐state structure which affects semiconductor properties. Finally, chapter 5 studies the use of singlet fission in photovoltaics and demonstrated that this process does occur in a solar cell incorporating a hexacene derivative. Pentadithiophenes were also synthesized for singlet fission photovoltaics, but they have yet to be studied further.