Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Polymers and High Performance Materials

First Advisor

Jason D. Azoulay

Advisor Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials


In this thesis, a selenium-derivatized acceptor was synthesized to examine the heavy atom effects of selenium on the position of the frontier molecular orbitals (HOMO/LUMO band gap) as opposed to sulfur in a donor-acceptor copolymer for use in light harvesting and detection applications. Over the course of this research, standard operating protocols for ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis-NIR) and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopies, as well as cyclic voltammetry (CV) characterization techniques were established. Once synthesized, the polymers were characterized through use of the established characterization protocols. The selenium-derivatized polymer exhibited a bathochromic shift compared to the sulfur analogue, with a solid-state absorption cutoff of 1140 nm compared to 1050 nm for the sulfur analogue and an optical band gap of ~1.1 eV.