Polymer Science and Engineering
Donor-acceptor (DA) conjugated polymers (CPs) with narrow bandgaps and open-shell (diradical) character represent an emerging class of materials whose rich behavior emanates from their collective electronic properties and diminished electron pairing. However, the structural and electronic heterogeneities that define these materials complicate bandgap control at low energies and connections linking topology, exchange interactions, and (opto)electronic functionality remain nascent. To address these challenges, we demonstrate structurally rigid and strongly π-conjugated copolymers comprised of a solubilizing thiadiazoloquinoxaline acceptor and cyclopenta[2,1-b:3,4-b′]dithiophene or dithieno[3,2-b:2′,3′-d]thiophene donors. Atom-specific substitution modulates local aromatic character within the donor resulting in dramatic differences in structural, physicochemical, electronic, and magnetic properties of the polymers. These long-range π-mediated interactions facilitate control between low-spin aromatic and high-spin quinoidal forms. This work provides a strategy to understand the evolution of the electronic structure within DA CPs, control the ground state spin multiplicity, tune spin-spin interactions, and articulate the emergence of their novel properties.
Cell Reports Physical Science
(2021). Topology and Ground State Control In Open-Shell Donor-Acceptor Conjugated Polymers. Cell Reports Physical Science, 2(6).
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/18830