Polymeric templating and alignment of fullerenes
Kincer, Matthew Ryan
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Fullerene research has advanced to elevated levels in a short period of time due to the unique chemical and physical properties of the caged molecule that have been utilized in numerous applications. Due to the spherical shape of the fullerene molecule which allows for a hollow cavity, encapsulation of atoms or small molecules can occur within the ball structure. This encapsulation creates an endohedral component that is limited from interacting with other molecules which creates potential of control over electronic information of the isolated molecule. Endohedral fullerenes have the potential as serving as the base unit in a quantum computer if control over global alignment is attained. Thus, by using the inherent self-assembling capabilities of some organic materials, ordered endohedral fullerenes can be achieved. This dissertation investigates the ability to use self-assembling strategies to obtain alignment which include ordering within a morphologically controlled copolymer matrix, forming a supramolecular polymer complex with cyclodextrin, and encapsulation within the helical wrap of polymer chains. The ultimate goal is to understand the dynamics that control association and orientation of varying fullerene-based molecules in each strategy in order to maximize control over the final alignment of endohedral elements.