This project covers the development and synthesis of new Poly(p-phenylene ethynylene) (PPE) derivatives with pendent radicals at the polymer backbone and the determination of their properties by electrochemical methods, to investigate the potential of PPE derivatives as intrinsically electrically conducting materials, as well as stimuli-sensitive materials for drug delivery systems or surgical devices.
These newly created materials may help e.g. to improve the living conditions with serious illnesses by advanced stimuli-sensitive implant materials for artificial organs and controlled drug release systems (e.g. an insulin pump). Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio, USA), the host of the first phase is a world leader in the research of conducting polymers. Together with its expertise it is planned to prepare two kinds of PPE systems: PPE derivatives with EHO-OPPE backbone containing aminoxyl radical moieties and PPEs, which feature semiquinone or phenoxide segments. It is anticipated that this investigation will provide firm answers to the fundamental question how pendant radicals can be introduced into these materials without compromising their processability and chemical stability.
The proposed high ambipolar charge-carrier mobility will be investigated using cyclic voltametry. GKSS, the host institution in the EU holds a leading position in regenerative medicine and polymer development. With the help of the expertise and the facilities at GKSS the developed PPE derivatives will be processed into thin films followed by evaluation of their electrical, mechanical and biological properties. With contributions of physics, chemistry and material sciences this project seeks to go into the newly evolving interdisciplinary field of conducting polymers and t heir applications. Due to its numerous applications this interdisciplinary field has a high potential for future enlargement, which therefore provides an excellent basis for the future career of the fellow.
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