Novel Polyaromatics for Organic Electronics and Graphene Exfoliation: Synthetic Approaches Utilising Regioselective Aromatic C-H Borylation

  • Kane Heard

Student thesis: Phd


Projects were undertaken investigating the functionalisation of polyaromatic cores (chrysene, pyrene and perylene) for use in organic electronics and aqueous graphene stabilisation. In each case an iridium-catalysed aromatic C-H borylation formed a key synthetic step, allowing access to unique substitution patterns.The development of strategies for the orthogonal and asymmetric functionalisation of polyaromatic hydrocarbons was explored. In a key synthetic step 4,10-dichlorochrysene was regioselectively borylated in high yields at the 2,8-positions though C-H activation chemistry. The subsequent application of sequential palladium-catalysed Suzuki and Kumada coupling reactions to this intermediate enabled the synthesis of a series of chrysene derivatives with a unique orthogonal "A2B2" 2,8- and 4,10-substitution pattern. In addition the application of a trifluoromethylation at the borylated 2,8-positions enabled the synthesis of a donor-acceptor chrysene derivative. The effect of these substitution patterns on the photophysical and electrochemical properties of these derivatives was investigated and their potential use as organic semiconducting materials evaluated. In particular the synthesised chrysene derivatives displayed broadened UV-vis absorption spectra, redshifted fluorescence spectra, increased HOMO levels and decreased band gaps.In an extension of these aromatic substitution methodologies, pyrene and perylene aromatic cores were functionalised to perform as stabilisers for aqueous graphene dispersions, investigating asymmetric motifs that may maximise performance. A series of amphiphilic pyrene- and perylene-based alkylsulfonic acid salts were synthesised via their intermediate hydroxyalkyl derivatives. In addition the application of the previously explored aromatic C-H borylation allowed access to 7- and 5,8,11- asymmetrically substituted pyrene and perylene derivatives. Through collaboration, initial steps have been undertaken to compare and evaluate these novel stabilisers for their ability exfoliate graphite to graphene in aqueous solution.
Date of Award1 Aug 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorStephen Yeates (Supervisor) & Peter Quayle (Supervisor)


  • Organic Electronics
  • Graphene Exfoliation
  • C-H Borylation
  • Polyaromatic Synthesis

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