Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MSc)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Dr. Ken Maly

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Dr. Louise Dawe

Advisor Role



The focus of this thesis is the synthesis of novel heterocyclic pentacene analogs and the investigation of their self-organization for the development of new materials for organic electronics. The thesis consists of two interrelated projects: the first being development of an improved synthesis of a series of liquid crystalline dicyanotetraoxapentacenes (DCTOPs) while the second entails the exploratory synthesis of several novel dicyanoheteropentacene analogues and a preliminary investigation of their photophysical properties and solid-state structures. Both of these projects centre around the use of nucleophilic aromatic substitution reactions on tetrafluoroterephthalonitrile.

Soluble, tetrakis(bis(alkoxy)phenyl)-substituted DCTOPs were originally synthesised via a short synthesis complicated by a tedious purification required in the last step. Despite this, derivatives bearing long alkyl chains were prepared which displayed liquid crystalline properties in addition to aggregation-induced emission. Building upon this success, but with the goal of achieving DCTOPs in an efficient synthetic manner for this thesis, changes were made which eliminated the troublesome fourfold Suzuki coupling by changing the order of reactions, which in turn required a protection-deprotection sequence. Purification in the new synthesis was greatly simplified and the target tetraaryl-DCTOPs were accessed in good overall yields and purities. The synthesis and solid state structures of these DCTOPs are discussed in Chapter 2.

Building on the methods developed in Chapter 2, several novel pentacene analogues containing combinations of nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur atoms installed within the pentacene core were also synthesised. These compounds were prepared in good yields, and preliminary photophysical studies show that all the compounds displayed luminescence in solution and the solid state. It was also shown that replacement of O with N leads to a red shift in absorption and emission spectra. The X-ray crystal structures show that several of these compounds exhibit π−stacking in the solid state, which is an important design element for applications in organic electronics. The synthesis, photophysical properties, and solid-state organization of these novel 6,13-dicyanoheteropentacene analogues are discussed in Chapter 3.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Available for download on Friday, February 21, 2020