Dithiafulvene (1,3-dithiole) and acrylate liquid crystals: Synthesis of monomers and polymers with possible electronic and electro-optic applications, and investigations in the synthesis of pure (meth)acrylates.
KeywordsMonomers -- Electric properties.
Polymers -- Electric properties.
Polymer liquid crystals.
AdvisorHall, H. K.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn this work, using the idea of an electrically conducting "functional unit," monomers and polymers with possible electronic and electro-optic applications were synthesized. The synthesis and polymerizations were, in many cases, novel and non-trivial. Dithiafulvene (1,3-dithiole) and variations of this functional unit were synthesized and incorporated into new condensation polymers. Polyesters, polyamides and polyhydrazones were all successfully synthesized and could be cast into films. These new polymers might be applicable as processable conducting materials if compatible dopants are employed or by themselves in the area of third order non-linear optics. Using a (meth)acrylate backbone, a spacer group of six methylene units, and a phenyl-CO₂-phenyl mesogen, linked by an ester group to a strongly polar optically active center containing a methoxy group, three new novel monomers and polymers were designed to exhibit smectic C* liquid-crystal phases. The polymers exhibited liquid crystalline behavior as was shown in differential scanning calorimetry and optical microscopy. Further studies and investigations in the synthesis of pure (meth)acrylate esters and their homopolymers yielded surprising results with regard to the Schotten-Baumann reaction. Interestingly, the use of meth(acryloyl) chloride in this scheme leads to (meth)acrylic anhydride, which is not easily isolable from distillable products. This anhydride is responsible for gelation in the polymerization of glycolate esters, and cannot be removed by work-up with various nucleophiles without disrupting desired ester functions. An S(N)2 method is recommended in this work.