Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Mark D. Watson

Second Advisor

Dr. Mark S. Meier



After the discovery of doped polyacetylene, organic semiconductor materials are widely studied as high impending active components in consumer electronics. They have received substantial consideration due to their potential for structural tailoring, low cost, large area and mechanically flexible alternatives to common inorganic semiconductors. To acquire maximum use of these materials, it is essential to get a strong idea about their chemical and physical nature. Material chemist has an enormous role to play in this novel area, including development of efficient synthetic methodologies and control the molecular self-assembly and (opto)-electronic properties. The body of this thesis mainly focuses on the substituent effects: how different substituent’s affect the (opto)-electronic properties of the donor-acceptor (D-A) conjugated polymers. The main priority goes to understand, how different alkyl substituent effect to the polymer solubility, crystallinity, thermal properties (eg: glass transition temperature) and morphological order. Three classes of D-A systems were extensively studied in this work. The second chapter mainly focuses on the synthesis and structure-property study of fluorinated arene (TFB) base polymers. Here we used commercially available 1,4-dibromo-2,3,5,6-tetrafluorobenzene (TFB) as the acceptor material and prepare several polymers using 3,3’-dialkyl(3,3’-R2T2) or 3,3’-dialkoxy bithiophene (3,3’-RO2T2) units as electron donors. A detail study was done using 3,3’-bithiophene donor units incorporating branched alkoxy-functionalities by systematic variation of branching position and chain length. The study allowed disentangling the branching effects on (i) aggregation tendency, intermolecular arrangement, (iii) solid state optical energy gaps, and (iv) electronic properties in an overall consistent picture, which might guide future polymer synthesis towards optimized materials for opto-electronic applications. The third chapter mainly focused on the structure-property study of imide functionalized D-A polymers. Here we used thiophene-imide (TPD) as the acceptor moiety and prepare several D-A polymers by varying the donor units. When selecting the donor units, more priority goes to the fused ring systems. One main reason to use imide functionality is due to the, open position of the imide nitrogen, which provides an attaching position to alkyl substituent. Through this we can easily manipulate solubility and solid state packing arrangement. Also these imide acceptors have low-lying LUMOs due to their electron deficient nature and this will allow tuning the optical energy gap by careful choice of donor materials with different electron donating ability. The fourth chapter mainly contribute to the synthesis and structure property study of a completely novel electron acceptor moiety consist of a unsaturated pyrrolidinone unit known as Pechmann dye (PD) core. Pechmann dyes are closely related to the Indigo family. This can refer as 3-butenolide dimer connected via an alkene bridge, containing a benzene ring at the 5 and 5’ positions of the lactone rings. We have prepared several D-A polymers using this PD system with benzodithiophene (BDT) as the donor unit. Different to common D-A polymers the HOMO and LUMO of the PD acceptor moiety are energetically located within the gap of the BDT, so that the electronic and optical properties (HOMO-LUMO transition) are dictated by the PD properties. The promising electronic properties, band gaps, high absorption coefficients and broad absorption suggest this new D-A polymers as an interesting donor material for organic solar cell (OSC) applications.