My research addresses ecological and economic factors that limit conjugated materials synthesis for solar energy. Conjugated polymers have the potential for widespread use in solar cells, as they can be cheap to produce, and installed in unique settings. Currently, synthesizing high-performing semiconducting polymers is energy intensive and complex. I study ways to reduce the number of synthetic steps while simultaneously prioritizing mild reaction conditions.
I will continue my work on direct arylation polymerization (DArP) at room temperature for conjugated polymer synthesis. DArP is attractive as it directly functionalizes C-H bonds, avoiding the use of toxic organometallic intermediates. Due to the high selectivity and reactivity requirements for effective polymerizations, mild methods are challenging. My research seeks to address these challenges by investigating light- and radical-mediated reactions for good room temperature reactivity.
Advisor: Christine Luscombe – Materials Science & Engineering