Publication Date

Spring 2016

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Hemali Rathnayake (Director)), Dr. Matthew Nee, Dr. Darwin Dahl

Degree Program

Department of Chemistry

Degree Type

Master of Science


The development of organic-inorganic hybrid materials is of great interest in thermoelectrics for its potential to combine the desirable characteristics of both classes of materials. Thermoelectric materials must combine low thermal conductivity with high electrical conductivity, but in most materials, thermal and electrical conductivity are closely related and positively correlated. By combining the low thermal conductivity, flexibility, facile processing, and low cost of organic components with the high electrical conductivity and stability of inorganic components, materials with beneficial thermoelectric properties may be realized.

Here, we describe the synthesis and characterization of anthracene-containing organic-inorganic hybrid materials for thermoelectric purposes. Specifically, POSS-ANT was synthesized when aminopropylisobutyl-POSS was functionalized with a single anthracene unit via DCC-mediated amide formation. Acrylate-POSS was functionalized with multiple anthracene units in a Heck coupling reaction to synthesize System 1. System 2 was developed through a two-step synthetic process. In the first reaction, (3- acryloxypropyl)methyl dimethyoxy silane was functionalized with anthracene at the 9- position through a Heck coupling reaction. The second reaction was a base-catalyzed solgel process to form polymeric nanoparticles. Finally, System 3 was synthesized through a similar process to System 2, though polymers formed in the initial step. The System 3 precursor was to be developed through a potassium carbonate-catalyzed ether synthesis

from 3-(bromopropyl)trimethoxysilane and 9-anthracene methanol, followed by a basecatalyzed sol-gel process to form nanoparticles. The precursor was never isolated because of premature polymerization during the precursor synthesis step, and polymeric nanoparticles were obtained for System 3 during the sol-gel process. These materials were characterized by TEM to reveal the nanostructures that formed upon evaporation from solution. Future work will focus on the characterization of thermoelectric parameters and incorporation into thermoelectric devices.


Biological and Chemical Physics | Chemistry | Inorganic Chemistry | Materials Chemistry | Organic Chemistry

Available for download on Friday, May 03, 2019