We are investigating the excited state properties (absorption, luminescence, etc.) of p-conjugated oligomers and polymers that incorporate transition metals such as Ru, Pt, and Ir, as we are interested in understanding the effect of the heavy metal on the properties of the conjugated systems. We have applied many different photophysical studies toward understanding the properties of these novel materials, including steady state emission, time-resolved emission, and transient absorption techniques. Synthetic organic chemistry is a necessary prerequisite in determining the structure-property relationships of these organometallic and metal-organic materials.
One current project involves the synthesis of a series of monodisperse organometallic oligomers endcapped with easily-reducible moieties. The conjugated material (core) has been shown to act as a “molecular wire” in which both charge and energy can easily migrate along the conjugated backbone, until trapped as charge at a lower energy site (endcap). The main objective of this work is to investigate the dynamics of both charge and energy transport in these materials. Collaborations with other institutions involve the use of pulse radiolytic and femtosecond transient absorption techniques to better understand migration dynamics.