Conjugated organic polymers have received a great deal of attention due to their electrical and optical properties. Polythiophenes have become the most widely studied of all conjugated polyheterocycles. The incorporation of electron-deficient boron centers into conjugated polymer structures has recently attracted much attention following the observation that overlap between the empty p orbital of boron and the organic p-system results in unusual photoluminescent and electron-conducting properties.
The introduction of Lewis acidic centers provides an opportunity to design novel sensor materials for Lewis basic substrates. We have focused here on synthesis and characterization of bifunctional conjugated organoborane model compounds, oligomers and polymeric systems of thiophenes with Lewis acidic boron groups and their interaction with different Lewis bases.
Our studies indicate that modification of the pendant aromatic groups on the boron center from electron donating to electron withdrawing groups results in varying degree of p- orbital overlap and hence materials with different photoluminescent properties (blue, green or red emission). The binding of Lewis bases results in appreciable change of the visible absorption and emission characteristics and hence allows sensing applications.
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