Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Adam C. Whalley


There has been increasing interest in the development of organic materials due to their unique structural and electronic properties. Organic compounds have the advantage of being able to be deposited from solution, leading to low-cost, high-area electronics production. Contorted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons have been shown to have potential for use in organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) and organic photovoltaic devices (OPVs) due to their supramolecular properties and charge carrier mobilities. Thiophene-based materials have also shown great promise in OFETs due to their high charge carrier mobilities, stability during device operation, solubility in organic solvents, and structural versatility.

[n]Circulenes are a class of polycyclic aromatic compounds whose shape depends on the central n-membered ring. These range from bowl-shaped when n < 6, planar when n = 6, and saddle-shaped when n > 6. The shapes of these molecules, especially for the contorted circulenes, imparts interesting and useful properties such as a polarizable π-system and coordination to fullerenes. Using methods developed in our group, synthesis of [12]circulene derivatives was attempted. Synthetic difficulties, results, and a synthetic plan to overcome these problems are presented herein.

2,7-Dioctyl[1]benzothieno[3,2-b][1]benzothiophene (C8-BTBT) is a thiophene-based p-type semiconducting material with one of the highest reported OFET mobility to date. Alterations to BTBT have been made to improve device processing and tune the electronic structure. However, structural alterations have generally been limited to functionalization with electron-donating groups and extension of the π-system. The lack of electron deficient derivatives has prevented further tuning of the electronic structure. Additionally, installation of strongly electron-withdrawing substituents could give BTBT n-type character as seen with perylene diimides. Several synthetic strategies to develop BTBTs with electron-withdrawing groups were explored. Limitations to developing electron deficient BTBTs as well as synthesis and characterization of novel imide-functionalized derivatives are described.



Number of Pages

132 p.

Available for download on Monday, November 09, 2020