Chemistry ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-1-2016


In this dissertation, several molecular tetrapods were synthesized for optoelectronic applications. In the first two sections, two tetrapodal breakwater-like small molecules: SO and SFBTD were synthesized and characterized. Absorption, X-ray scattering and differential scanning calorimetry experiments indicate crystalline nature of these compounds but slow crystallization kinetics. Solar cells employing SO or SFBTD and phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) were fabricated and evaluated. Relatively low performance was obtained mainly due to the lack of appropriate phase separation, which was caused by molecularly mixed blends with PCBM. The molecularly mixed blends is the result of slow crystallization feature of SO and SFBTD, which may be intrinsically resulted from its tetrahedral geometry. Addition of low bandgap highly crystalline conjugated polymer poly(thienylene vinylene) (PTV) into the SO/PCBM blend was found to induce appreciable phase separation. Our findings can give useful insight on the structure-property relationships of such 3-D small molecules and their applications in organic solar cells. In the last section, a series of fullerene-borate ionic complexes were synthesized successfully. Various chromophores can be introduced into our fullerene-borate ionic complex system through facile Sonogashira coupling reaction, and thus the optical and electrical properties of complex can be easily tuned. The fluorescence quenching study on FP-Ant indicated the efficient photo-induced charge transfer in our complex system, while the existence of long-lived charge separated states is under exploration. The success of obtaining single crystal of FP-Ph might give us some insight to develop the infinite crystalline structures of fullerene-borate ionic complex through ionic interaction.

Project Sponsors

University of New Mexico




Organic solar cells, molecular tetrapods, power conversion efficiency, fullerene-borates ionic complex and photo-induced charge transfer

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

First Committee Member (Chair)

Prof. Yang Qin

Second Committee Member

Prof. John K. Grey

Third Committee Member

Prof. Wei Wang

Fourth Committee Member

Prof. Sang Eon Han