The Chemistry of Fullerenes, Polymers, and Host/Guest Interactions

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Virginia Tech

The exploitation of the relationship between the chemical and physical properties of materials is the hallmark of advancing science throughout the world. The basic understanding of how and why molecules react and interact with each other in different environments allows for the discovery and implementation of new materials and devices that not only advance the state of human life but continually change the planet. The work described in this dissertation generally falls under three diverse categories: functionalization of fullerenes, investigation of host/guest interactions in solution, and the synthesis and characterization of ion containing polymers.

The separation and functionalization of fullerenes is a recent and exciting area of research. The separation methods outlined are intended to increase the availability of endohedral metallofullerenes by decreasing their cost of production. Functionalized fullerene species were achieved through Bingel and Prato reactions to provide materials with novel functional groups. These materials may be further utilized in photovoltaic or other organic electronic devices.

The characterization of noncovalent interactions between different molecules in solution is the focus of supramolecular chemistry. Isothermal Titration Calorimetry stands out as one of the best, among the many methods used to elucidate the characteristics of these systems. The binding of bis- imidazolium and paraquat guests with macrocyclic host molecules has been explored in this work. The measurements of the association constants for these systems will aid in the ongoing synthesis of new host/guest systems.

Ion containing polymers were synthesized and characterized for their use in electroactive devices. Imidazolium containing polymers with bulky anions were synthesized on low glass transition polymer chains. These materials had enhanced ion conductivity and may eventually be used in electronic actuator materials.

fullerene, endohedral metallofullerene, host/guest, ionomer, polymer, purification, isothermal titration calorimetry, imidazolium, paraquat, cryptand, pseudorotaxane