Mentor: Dr. Frank Mallory
Conjugated systems have demonstrated their ability to act as electron shuttles and as such may be used as a molecular wire that transfers electrons from an electron donor to an electron acceptor. [n]phenacenes, which are compounds with n benzene rings fused together in an extended zig-zag pattern, have such a conjugated system and could therefore be used to test its utility as a molecular wire. In addition, linked benzene rings have previously been used as molecular wires in a donor-bridge-acceptor molecular complex and as such, the effectiveness of such a wire and that of [n]phenacenes can be experimentally compared. This is especially of interest within the field of nanotechnology. To allow these comparisons, the synthesis of previously unknown phenacenes will be undertaken and the most efficient synthetic path will be thusly determined. In future, the synthesis of [n]phenacenes with n greater than 3 will allow a study into the effectiveness of larger phenacenes as molecular wires and thus increasing our understanding on the chemical characteristics of the said phenacenes.