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Synthesis of Conjugated Polymers by Sustainable Suzuki Polycondensation in Water and under Aerobic Conditions

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journal contribution
posted on 31.07.2020, 12:06 by Alessandro Sanzone, Adiel Calascibetta, Mauro Monti, Sara Mattiello, Mauro Sassi, Francesca Corsini, Gianmarco Griffini, Michael Sommer, Luca Beverina
Conjugated semiconducting polymers are key materials enabling plastic (opto)­electronic devices. Research in the field has a generally strong focus on the constant improvement of backbone structure and the resulting properties. Comparatively fewer studies are devoted to improving the sustainability of the synthetic route that leads to a material under scrutiny. Exemplified by the two established and commercially available luminescent polymers poly­(9,9-dioctylfluorene-alt-bithiophene) (PF8T2) and poly­(9,9-dioctylfluorene-alt-benzothiadiazole) (PF8BT), this work describes the first examples of efficient Suzuki-Miyaura polycondensations in water, under ambient environment, with minimal amount of organic solvent and with moderate heating. The synthetic approach enables a reduction of the E-factor (mass of organic waste/mass of product) by 1 order of magnitude, without negatively affecting molecular weight, dispersity, chemical structure, or photochemical stability of PF8T2 or PF8BT.