Assembly and characterization of well-defined high-molecular-weight poly(p -phenylene) polymer brushes

Jose Alonzo, Jihua Chen, Jamie Messman, Xiang Yu, Kunlun Hong, Suxiang Deng, Onome Swader, Mark Dadmun, John F. Ankner, Phillip Britt, Jimmy W. Mays, Massimo Malagoli, Bobby G. Sumpter, Jean Luc Brédas, S. Michael Kilbey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The assembly and characterization of well-defined, end-tethered poly(p-phenylene) (PPP) brushes having high molecular weight, low polydispersity and high 1,4-stereoregularity are presented. The PPP brushes are formed using a precursor route that relies on either self-assembly or spin coating of high molecular weight (degrees of polymerizations 54, 146, and 238) end-functionalized poly(1,3-cyclohexadiene) (PCHD) chains from benzene solutions onto silicon or quartz substrates, followed by aromatization of the end-attached PCHD chains on the surface. The approach allows the thickness (grafting density) of the brushes to be easily varied. The dry brushes before and after aromatization are characterized by ellipsometry, atomic force microscopy, grazing angle attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and UV-Vis spectroscopy. The properties of the PPP brushes are compared with those of films made using oligo-paraphenylenes and with ab initio density functional theory simulations of optical properties. Our results suggest conversion to fully aromatized, end-tethered PPP polymer brushes having effective conjugation lengths of 5 phenyl units.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4367-4374
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 11 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • electronic structure
  • poly(para-phenylene)
  • polymer brush
  • thin film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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