Superacidification of aromatic sulfoxides effects the electrophilic substitution reaction of the resulting hydroxysulfonium ions onto aromatic rings with the elimination of H2O at room temperature. The product, the alkyldiarylsulfonium ion, allows the synthesis of alkylsulfonio-bridged λ4-alkylsulfanyliumdiyl) aromatic polymers. High molecular-weight poly(alkylsulfonioarylene) salts have been made accessible by the regioselective condensation of aryl sulfoxides. Polymers having a wide variety of structural dimensionalities such as linear, hyper-branched and ladder-type structures can be prepared by this method, which possess interesting properties such as good solubility in polar organic solvents and sometimes even in H2O, susceptibility to nucleophiles to provide thioarylene derivatives, photo-degradability, and electric semiconductivity based on a 3d-2p interaction in aryl sulfonium ion.
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