Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Polymers and Coatings


Chemistry & Biochemistry


Dr. Shanju Zhang


Conjugated semi-conducting polymers have become well known for their potential applications in hybrid electronic devices like solar cells, LEDs, and organic displays. These hybrid devices also contain inorganic nanoparticles, which complement the polymer when they are combined into the same layer. Control over the conformation and crystallinity of the polymer is critical for device performance, yet not much is known about the effect that these nanoparticles have on the polymer. Here, zinc oxide nanowire was surface modified with mono-substituted-carboxylic acid tetraphenylporphyrin and dodecanethiol, and introduced to poly(3-hexyl thiophene) in solution. The electron transfer, kinetics, and thermodynamics of this system were investigated through spectroscopic methods. Chemical reaction rate laws and Lauritzen-Hoffman Growth Theory were employed to substantiate the mechanism and rate of polymer crystallization. Surface-modification of the ZnO nanowire suggested an improvement in polymer nucleation by as much as 43.8%. A synthetic procedure was also developed to modify the inorganic nanowire with quantum dots in order to improve electron transport into the nanowire. Development of these theories and exploration of these surface effects can help lead the way for a new generation of flexible, high efficiency, hybrid electronic devices.