Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

S. H. Eichhorn


Pure sciences, Applied sciences, Columnar mesophases, Discotic liquid crystals, Organic semiconductors, Solar cells




Columnar mesophases of discotic liquid crystals (DLCs) have attracted much attention as organic semiconductors and have been tested as active materials in light-emitting diodes, photovoltaic solar cells, and field-effect transistors. However, devices based on DLCs have shown lower performance than devices based on polymeric and small molecule glass semiconductors, despite their superior charge conducting and advantages self-organizing properties. Most DLCs also require relatively complex processing conditions for the preparation of electronic devices, which is another significant disadvantage. Consequently, new types of DLCs are sought-after to overcome these limitations and described in this thesis are new types of discotic materials and their synthesis. Chapters 2 and 3 describe star-shaped discotic molecules for donor-acceptor columnar structures and as novel flexible core discotic molecules. Presented are the first examples of star-shaped heptamers of donor and acceptor discotic molecules which have six hexaalkoxy triphenylene ligands and a hexaazatriphenylene hexacarboxylate core or a hexaazatriphenylene hexaamide core. The hexaazatriphenylene cores were chosen because of their electron deficient character while the hexaalkoxy triphenylenes are known to be electron rich. Envisioned is the formation of super-columns in which the heptamers stack on top of each other and generate a material with electron acceptor and electron donor channels separated by aliphatic chains. This is an important difference to previously reported donor-acceptor star-shaped structures that were connected via conjugated linkers and do not form separate columnar stacks. Star-shaped DLCs based on small aromatic groups linked together by short flexible spacers may represent a novel type of discotic core structure that does not require peripheral flexible chains. Softening of the core by the spacer group is expected to sufficiently lower melting points and not interfere with the columnar stacking as long as a disc-shaped structure can be adopted. Presented here are synthetic approaches towards novel hexa(thiophen-2-yl)alkyl)benzene derivatives as star-shaped hetero-heptamer discotic cores. New ionic and polymerizable discotic liquid crystals based on the commercial dye tetraazaporphyrin are presented in Chapters 4 and 5. Both areas have been given little attention despite their importance for the preparation of stable films for devices. Tetraazaporphyrins containing azide and acetylene groups at the end of aliphatic spacers have been prepared and cross-linked by cycloaddition (click chemistry). Some derivatives form columnar mesophases and could be thermally cross-linked in their columnar mesophase and their copper catalyzed cross-linking in Langmuir and Langmuir-Blodgett layers was also successful.