Recent work at the University of Manchester has developed an efficient synthetic method for transition metal free electrophilic borylation of aromatics and heteroaromatics. This approach has recently been extended to the fusion of conjugated materials containing the acceptor moiety benzothiadiazole – a group that is ubiquitous in materials for organic electronics. This functionalization leads to a significant increase in the electron affinity of the materials and a considerable reduction in the band gap, consistent with near-IR emission in organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), ambipolar organic field effect transistor (OFET) mobility, improved n-type stability and effective light harvesting in organic photovoltaic cells (OPVs). The BORCOM project will use this methodology to deliver novel molecules and polymers that exhibit high electron affinities and small band gaps by functionalization of azole or azine containing acceptors in the conjugated backbone. The performance of the new materials as n-type semiconductors in OFETs, light harvesting and electron acceptors in OPVs and dopants/emitters in OLEDs will be evaluated.
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