Our research interests broadly focus on the design, synthesis and characterization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and nanographene molecular systems. These systems interest us by virtue of their photophysical properties, potential applications in materials science, and striking structural and topographical architecture. Our interests in this expansive field are focused on the areas of functional materials, hetero-atom embedded nanographenes and cyclophanes.
Our group is focused on using modern synthetic techniques for the functionalization of coveted PAH cores, turning them into more processable materials with advantageous physical and chemical properties. The largest PAHs often display the most tantalizing properties for use in light-harvest devices, organic field-effect transistors (OFETs), organic semiconductors and others, but their physical properties (like solubility) and stabilities (oxidative degradation) have limited their true usefulness.
HETERO-ATOM EMBEDDED NANOGRAPHENES
Fused heterocyclic nanographene systems offer some distinct properties over their purely carbon-based analogs. The presence of heteroatoms provides increased tunability of HOMO-LUMO gaps, absorption and emission spectra and redox behaviour. These types of systems are also of interest as tunable ligands for transition metals.
Cyclophanes are a privileged class of molecules where at least one aromatic unit is bridged between two non-adjacent positions on that aromatic ring. The simplest cyclophanes contain only one aromatic unit and one bridge, but the complexity can quickly snowball as more aromatic units and more bridged are incorporated. Cyclophanes are also useful systems for the study of strain in organic compounds and its effect on aromaticity.