Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Plastics are materials composed of many long chains of molecules with repeating subunits; strong interactions between neighboring molecules lead to the material used throughout the world. Plastics are commonly thought to be insulating, in stark contrast to the conductivity of metals. However, certain polymer structures were discovered to exhibit semiconducting properties, the subject of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2000. Conducting polymers have a unique molecular structure with an electronically conjugated backbone, allowing electrons to freely travel both across the chain and in between chains. This work focuses on controlling the kinetics of the reaction between the vapors of an aromatic heterocycle pyrrole and aqueous iron(III) containing oxidants. With the methods introduced in this dissertation, the conducting polymer polypyrrole is formed with great control of molecular structure, allowing for the fine-tuning of properties like conductivity. Unique interactions during synthesis lead to the controlled deposition of polypyrrole nano- and microstructures, including fibers, tubes, webs, and thin films. These unique structures of polypyrrole are then analyzed for their performance as usable electronic materials, including transparent and flexible conductors as well as electrode materials for electrochemical energy storage devices.
Chair and Committee
Julio M. D'Arcy
William E. Buhro, Young-Shin Jun, Liviu M. Mirica, Bryce Sadtler,
Santino, Luciano Matteo, "Self-Assembly of Conducting Polymer Nano- and Microstructures for Energy Storage" (2019). Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1946.