Materials Horizons: Post-polymerisation functionalisation of conjugated polymers on the backbone

Our review of post-polymerisation approaches for the rapid modification of conjugated polymer properties has been published in Materials Horizons.

Post-polymerisation functionalisation provids a facile and efficient way for the introduction of functional groups on the backbone of conjugated polymers. For such functionalisations, highly efficient and selective reactions are needed to avoid the formation of complex mixtures or permanent defects in the polymer backbone. A variety of suitable synthetic approaches and reactions that fulfil these criteria have been identified and reported. In our review, we provide a thorough overview of the post-polymerisation functionalisations reported to date, with the methods grouped based on the type of reaction used: cycloaddition, oxidation/reduction, nucleophilic aromatic substitution, or halogenation and subsequent cross-coupling reaction. Instead of modifications on the aliphatic side chains of the conjugated polymers, we focus on modifications directly on the conjugated backbones, as these have the most pronounced effect on the optical and electronic properties. By providing an overview of this versatile and expanding field for the first time, we showcase post-polymerisation functionalisation as an exciting pathway for the creation of new conjugated materials for a range of applications.

M. Rimmele, F. Glöcklhofer,* F. Heeney,* Post-polymerisation approaches for the rapid modification of conjugated polymer properties, Mater. Horiz. 2022, accepted manuscript, DOI: 10.1039/D2MH00519K. [Link, open access]