Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. John P. Selegue


This research project is concentrated on tuning the properties of small organic molecules, namely polyacenes, tropones and thiepins, by incorporating redox-active transition metal centers π-bonded to terminal cyclopentadienyl ligands. Organometallic-fused acenequinones, tropones, thiepins and cyclopentadiene-capped polyacenes were synthesized and characterized. This work was divided into three parts: first, the synthesis of ferrocene-fused acenequinones, cyclopentadiene-capped acenequinones and their subsequent aromatization to polyacenes; second, the synthesis of ferrocene-fused tropones, thiotropones and tropone oxime; and third, the synthesis of ferrocene-fused thiepins. Ferrocene-fused quinones are the precursors to our target complexes. Our synthetic route to ferrocenequinones involved two-fold aldol condensation between 1,2-diformylferrocene and naphthalene-1,4-diol or anthracene-1,4-diol, and four-fold condensation between 1,2-diformylferrocene and 1,4-cyclohexanedione. Reduction of ferrocene-fused quinones with borane in THF resulted in ferrocene-fused dihydroacenes. Attempts to reduce ferrocene-fused acenequinones with sodium dithionite led to metal-free cyclopentadiene- (Cp-) capped acenequinones. Cp-capped acenequinones were aromatized to bis(triisopropylsilyl)ethynyl polyacenes by using lithium (triisopropylsilyl)acetylide (TIPSC≡CLi) with subsequent dehydroxylation by stannous chloride. The compounds were characterized by using spectroscopic methods and X-ray crystallography. Further, the electronic properties of these compounds were studied by using cyclic voltammetry and UV-visible spectroscopy. Cyclic voltammetry showed oxidation potentials of Cp-capped TIPS-tetracene and bis-Cp-capped TIPS-anthracene as 0.49 V and 0.61 V, respectively (vs. ferrocene/ferrocenium). The electrochemical band gaps were 2.15 eV and 2.58 eV, respectively. Organic thin-film transistor device performance of Cp-capped polyacenes was studied using solution deposition bottom-contact, bottom-gate (BCBG) device architecture and the resulting performance parameters are described herein.

Similarly, we are also interested in potential applications of metallocene-fused tropones and derivatives as organic electronic materials. Condensation of 1,2-diformylferrocene with acetone or 1,3-diphenylacetone in the presence of KOH resulted in the ferrocene-fused tropone (η5-2,4-cyclopentadien-1-yl)[(1,2,3,3a,8a-η)-1,6-dihydro-6-oxo-1-azulenyl]iron (1, R = H, E = O) and its 5,7-diphenyl derivative (1, R = Ph, E = O) as previously reported by Tirouflet. The use of piperidine as base resulted in Michael addition of piperidine to one of the carbon-carbon double bonds of the tropones. Lawesson’s reagent converted the ferrocene-fused tropones to either a thiotropone (1, R = H, E = S) or a detached 5,7-diphenylazulenethiol (2). Reaction of the ferrocene-fused thiotropone with hydroxylamine gave the corresponding oxime (1, R = H, E = NOH). Products were characterized by using spectroscopic methods and X-ray crystallography. Their electronic properties were studied by using cyclic voltammetry and UV-visible spectroscopy.

The third project involved the two-fold aldol condensation of 1,2-diformylferrocene with dimethylthioglycolate S-oxide in the presence of freshly distilled triethylamine, which gave mono- and di-dehydrated products. Deoxygenation of the ferrocene-fused thiepin S-oxide with 2-chloro-1,3,2-benzodioxaphosphole in the presence of pyridine resulted in the corresponding thiepin. The ester groups of the thiepin and thiepin S-oxide were hydrolyzed under basic conditions to give carboxylic acids, which were converted into acid chlorides using oxalyl chloride. Attempts to decarboxylate the thiepin and thiepin S-oxide diacids resulted in decomposition.