Research objectives and content Semiconducting organic materials, such as conjugated polymers are very promising for the use as Photonic Polymer Materials. However, a good understanding of the relation between the molecular structure, the morphology (macro-/microphase separation), the device structure, and the photonic properties in conjugated polymers and oligomers is not yet established. By synthesizing new block copolymers with controlled block architecture and block length, properties should be controllable through morphology. While the control of the photonic properties will be achieved through stepwise synthesis, thus eliminating structural defects normally associated with standard conjugated polymers, the morphological behaviour will be controlled by polymerising blocks from the chromophores using ' living' radical polymerisation techniques. These allow control of the chain length while yielding narrow polydispersities and tolerating various functional groups. Emphasis will be on systems that will show phase separation, which should strongly influence the photophysical properties of the systems. When suitable functionalized, the phase separation of the blocks should ultimately result in a separation of properties.By combining tailoring of the length and substitution of the chromophores with the control over chain length of the other blocks through ' living' radical polymerisation techniques, it should be possible to optimise each system individually to the required/desired properties. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The candidate will gain knowledge in polymer synthesis and
characterization as well as in polymer physics. The interdisciplinarity of the project will give him insight into several other fields of interest. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
Many multinationals have shown interest into conjugated polymers, such as Philips and Hewlett Packard, but also OCE van den Grinten with which we have an active collaborative program. Next to those also three new start-up companies are working with us to develop new materials in the field of Photonic Polymers.