The optoelectronic properties of pi-conjugated systems are attractive for a number of device applications such as light emitting diodes, field-effect transistors, sensors, and photovoltaics. To optimize device performances, rationally designed new materials are constantly sought. In this presentation, I will give an overview on the various projects that we have been working on in the past few years. Our efforts on light harvesting conjugated dendrimers and their applications as chemical and biosensors will be discussed. Organic-inorganic hybrids containing pi-conjugated systems and covalently linked polyoxometalate (POM) clusters will be emphasized. POM-containing molecular, polymeric, and diblock copolymer hybrids and their applications as photovoltaic materials will be presented. Hybrid rod-coil diblock copolymers containing coordinatively binded semiconducting nanoparticles will also be discussed. If time allows, I will also cover our work on the synthesis of new discotic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and their applications as electron donors in photoactive donor-acceptor nanostructures and as building blocks to conjugated foldamers .
Zhonghua (Josh) Peng obtained his Ph.D in polymer chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1997. He was a postdoctoral researcher at Bell Laboratories from 1997 to 1998. He started his independent career as an assistant professor in the department of chemistry at UMKC in 1998. He was promoted to associate professor in 2001 and full professor in 2003. He has been a Curators’ professor since 2014.