Highly Efficient Reactions for Post-Polymerization Modification of Conjugated Polymer Backbones

Date: February 18, 2022 1:00 pm (ET)


  • Alex Adronov
    McMaster University
Alex Adronov

Biography: Alex Adronov was born in Kaunas, Lithuania (part of former USSR), and immigrated to Canada with his family when he was 7 years old. He grew up in Windsor, Ontario, and attended W. C. Kennedy Collegiate Institute (secondary school). He received his B.Sc. degree in Honours Biological Chemistry from McMaster University in 1996. During his undergraduate studies, he participated in research projects within the groups of Professors Francoise Winnik (summer, 1994) and Cornelia Bohne (summer, 1995), during which time he developed his interest in polymers, chromophores, and fluorescence spectroscopy. His senior thesis was carried out in the group of Professor Michael Brook, solidifying his interest in synthetic polymer chemistry. He then went on to graduate studies in the group of Professor Jean M. J. Frechet at UC Berkeley. His thesis project, entitled “Light Harvesting Dendrimers”, involved the synthesis and study of chromophore-functionalized dendrimers that exhibited non-radiative energy transfer characteristics (Chem. Commun. 2000, 1701). He received his Ph.D. in 2001, and immediately took up an Assistant Professor position at McMaster University, where he has been ever since. He was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure in 2007, and Professor in 2013. He also served as Associate Chair of Graduate Studies and Associate Chair of Research in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology from 2009 to 2019, and has also served as Acting Chair of the department for 6 months in 2019. Currently, he is the Director of the Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research, a position he started in 2020.

Abstract: Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWNTs) exhibit a number of unique mechanical, thermal, and electronic properties that render them useful for numerous applications.  However, the highly insoluble nature of these materials is one of the major limitations to their applications.  In addition, the presence of both metallic and semiconducting SWNTs within all commercially available samples poses a major challenge in electronic applications.  Recently, π-stacking interactions between conjugated polymers and SWNTs have proven effective not only in dispersing individual nanotubes in a variety of solvents but also in selectively interacting with semiconducting SWNTs.  However, the selectivity of this polymer-SWNT interaction is still poorly understood and requires improvement.  Thus, investigation of new polymer structures that exhibit selective interactions with different nanotube types and diameters is warranted.  We have developed conjugated polymers that can be efficiently modified post-polymerization, and exploit these structures to gain a better understanding of parameters that control polymer-SWNT interactions.  We have also exploited these efficient reactions in the development of new conjugated polymer backbones with interesting photophysical properties.