Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



π-Conjugated polymer materials may have a significant economic impact on society by providing means for designing affordable, flexible, and portable organic electronic devices. Their successful commercialization will depend on major scientific advancements, which will challenge human society to seek out ever more detailed and fundamental processes to command. Controlled polymerization affords such a power; allowing for the design of meticulous and precisely defined systems granting detailed insight into structure-property relationships in the polymer materials and bettering understanding of novel physical phenomena.

This dissertation primarily focuses on development and preparation of well-defined hierarchically organized macromolecular systems. The novel chain-growth polymerization methodologies described herein depended on gaining new fundamental insights into transition metal catalyzed controlled polymerization reactions, including many intriguing aspects of their catalytic and self-assembly processes.

For example, a general approach towards deeper mechanistic understanding and improving the controlled polymerization reactions for preparing conjugated polymer is presented; subsequent applying this knowledge resulted in an approach for a general synthesis of various classes of conjugated polymers precisely incorporating specific structural units. Preparation of such materials led to the observation of novel and unusual photophysical phenomena that exclusively appear in these unique polymer systems.

In addition, the photophysical properties and energy transfer processes occurring in nano- and mesoscale conjugated polymer donor-acceptor materials were found to depend on the non-equilibrium conformations of supramolecular assemblies forming in kinetically controlled catalyst-transfer polymerization.



Committee Chair

Zhang, Donghui