Merging reactivity and properties: photocontrolled synthesis of π-conjugated polymers

Project: Research project

Project Details


Macromolecules offer unique opportunities to translate molecular design into structural features at the nano- to macroscale. However, these opportunities can only be realized if we have synthetic control over macromolecular structure. Advances in controlled radical polymerization have enabled the synthesis of soft materials with unprecedented properties. Moreover, detailed mechanistic studies have led to significant improvements in the efficiency, monomer scope, and degree of control over structure and architecture. This paradigm shift has not yet occurred for π-conjugated polymers: the majority of advances have been made using step-growth polymerization. We present a mechanistically distinct strategy for chain-growth polymerization based on the inherent properties of conjugated polymers. Because the mechanistic requirements for propagation are essential features of high-performance conjugated polymers, this reactivity will accelerate the discovery of new copolymers and nanocomposites. Moreover, we will establish structure-property relationships for emerging applications of conjugated polymers and poorly understood phenomena.
Effective start/end date3/15/183/14/21


  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA9550-18-1-0159)


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