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[Academic Report]Tetrathiafulvalene Vinylogues as Versatile Building Blocks: From Small Molecular Systems to Nanomaterials

Integration of redox-active molecular building blocks, such as tetrathiafulvalene (TTF) and its derivatives, into various p-conjugated systems has been a widely used approach in the development of molecule-based functional materials with specific electronic and optical functions. Over the past few years, our group has been actively investigating a class of p-extended TTF analogues, namely tetrathiafulvalene vinylogues (TTFVs). The remarkable electronic and conformational properties TTFVs can lead to a wide spectrum of applications in materials science, such as electrochromism, molecular machinery, supramolecular assemblies and chemical sensing. This presentation will first review the most recent progress made by our group in TTFV-based materials chemistry. In addition, the properties and applications of a related p-functionality, dithiafulvene (DTF), will be addressed in this talk. DTFs are the key precursors for the synthesis of TTFVs. It has been found that inclusion of DTF into p-conjugated oligomers and polymers can significantly enhance the supramolecular interactions with carbon nanomaterials, such as single-walled carbon nanotubes and fullerenes.

Yuming Zhao obtained his PhD in 2002 under the supervision of Prof. Rik R. Tykwinski at the University of Alberta, working on the synthesis of cross-conjugated oligo(enyne)s and characterization of their electronic and nonlinear optical properties. From 2002 to 2004, he was an NSERC postdoctoral fellow, working with Prof. James M. Tour at Rice University. His postdoctoral research focused on the synthesis of nanoscale molecular vehicles (“nancars”) and fullerene-oligomer derivatives. In 2004, he joined the Department of Chemistry, Memorial University, as an assistant professor, and he is now an associate professor at Memorial University. His research interests range from the synthesis of novel pi-extended tetrathiafulvalene derivatives, pi-conjugated oligomers and shape-persistent macrocycles, fullerene-dendrimerderivatives, to the design of functional chemo-/bio-sensors and functionalization of single-walled carbon nanotubes. He was the recipient of PetroCanada Young Innovator Award in 2007.


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