George Heidbreder with Kenneth Singer
Aggregation Characteristics of Conjugated Sophorolipid-(Zn)porphyrin Polymers
Bio-based, self-organizing molecules are of considerable interest for optoelectronic device applications due to their functionality and ability to construct sophisticated microstructures with similar motifs to those found in nature. Recently, the Singer group has discovered that conjugated sophorolipid-(Zn)porphyrin molecules self-assemble in solution into helical supramolecular polymers driven by the sophorolipid’s hydrogen-bonding carbohydrate moieties. The parameters for the self-assembly process are not entirely understood, and varying the molecular design has resulted in remarkably different aggregation and structural properties of the assembled polymers. The rate of aggregation and chiroptical properties of the assembled microstructures can be examined through temperature-dependent UV-Vis and circular dichroism absorption spectroscopy. In order to further understand the intermolecular interactions and (opto)electronic properties, solid state characterization is needed. My work will focus on developing a method for gaining highly ordered thin films and characterizing the solid state structural and electronic properties. We will perform X-ray diffraction and (opto)electronic characterization such as charge carrier mobility and non-linear optic experiments on the thin films.