The Design and Synthesis of Metal-Functionalized Poly(norbornenes) for Potential Use in Light-Emitting Diodes
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The use of polymers in electro-optical devices, especially light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), has become very popular in recent years, due to their ease of processability. The major drawback of using polymers in these systems is their time-consuming synthesis when trying to improve upon their physical properties. For example, each time a new color or better conducting properties are desired, a new monomer must be synthesized. To circumvent these problems, the system described in this work is designed to connect the well-known chromophore aluminum tris(8-hydroxyquinoline) (Alq3) to a norbornene monomer unit, followed by polymerization using ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP), thus allowing for the processability of a polymer while maintaining the fluorescent properties of the metalloquinolate. The benefit of this system is that the monomers can be easily altered in order to tune color emission or to enhance the polymer properties. Some of the alterations include changing the metal center from aluminum to zinc in order to improve electron injection, adding substituents to the 8-hydroxyquinoline ligand in order to tune the emission color, and copolymerizing the Alq3-monomer with other norbornene monomers containing either a hole- or an electron-transport material side-chain to improve conductivity. These alterations lead to improved device performance and, more importantly, to a new method of designing polymeric systems for use in electronic devices.