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Theoretical Studies of Novel Organic Systems: Biradicals, Polyradicals, and Conducting Polymers


Pranata, Julianto (1989) Theoretical Studies of Novel Organic Systems: Biradicals, Polyradicals, and Conducting Polymers. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/x0ka-7s95.


Chapter 1

Cyclobutanediyl has been studied in both its singlet and triplet states by ab initio electronic structure theory. The triplet, which is the ground state of the molecule, exists in both C2h and C2v forms, which interconvert via a Cs transition state. For the singlet, only a C2h form is found. It passes, via a Cs transition state, onto the C2v surface on which bicyclobutane is the only minimum. The ring-flipping (inversion) process in bicyclobutane includes the singlet biradical as an intermediate, and involves a novel, nonleast motion pathway. Semiclassical periodic orbit theory indicates that the various minima on both the singlet and triplet surfaces can interconvert via quantum mechanical tunneling.

Chapter 2

The dimethylenepolycyclobutadienes (n) are the non-Kekulé analogues of the classical acenes. Application of a variety of theoretical methods reveals several novel features of such structures. Most interesting is the emergence of a parity rule. When n is even, n is predicted to be a singlet, with n disjoint NBMOs. When n is odd, theory predicts a triplet ground state with (n+1) NBMOs that are not fully disjoint.

Chapter 3

Bi(cyclobutadienyl) (2), the cyclobutadiene analogue of biphenyl, and its homologues tri- (3) and tetra(cyclobutadienyl) (4) have been studied using electronic structure theory. Ab initio calculations on 2 reveal that the central bond is a true double bond, and that the structure is best thought of as two allyl radicals plus an ethylene. The singlet and triplet states are essentially degenerate. Trimer 3 is two allyls plus a dimethylenecyclobutanediyl, while 4 is two coplanar bi(cyclobutadienyl) units connected by a single bond. For both 3 and 4, the quintet, triplet, and singlet states are essentially degenerate, indicating that they are tetraradicals. The infinite polymer, polycyclobutadiene, has been studied by HMO, EHCO, and VEH methods. Several geometries based on the structures of 3 and 4 have been studied, and the band structures are quite intriguing. A novel crossing between the valence and conduction bands produces a small band gap and a high density of states at the Fermi level.

Chapter 4

At the level of Hückel theory, polyfulvene has a HOCO-LUCO degeneracy much like that seen in polyacetylene. Higher levels of theory remove the degeneracy, but the band gap (Eg) is predicted to be significantly smaller than analogous structures such as polythiophene and polypyrrole at the fulvenoid geometry. An alternative geometry, which we have termed quinoid, is also conceivable for polyfulvene, and it is predicted to have a much larger Eg. The effects of benzannelation to produce analogues of polyisothianaphthene have been evaluated. We propose a new model for such structures based on conventional orbital mixing arguments. Several of the proposed structures have quite interesting properties, which suggest that they are excellent candidates for conducting polymers.

Chapter 5

Theoretical studies of polydimethylenecyclobutene and polydiisopropylidene-cyclobutene reveal that, because of steric crowding, they cannot achieve a planar, fully conjugated structure in either their undoped or doped states. Rather, the structure consists of essentially orthogonal hexatriene units. Such a structure is incompatible with conventional conduction mechanisms involving polarons and bipolarons.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Chemistry
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemistry
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Dougherty, Dennis A.
Thesis Committee:
  • Grubbs, Robert H. (chair)
  • Dougherty, Dennis A.
  • Beauchamp, Jesse L.
  • Goddard, William A., III
Defense Date:11 October 1988
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:08232013-142740600
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7937
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:26 Aug 2013 14:50
Last Modified:27 Sep 2021 22:00

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