We report the design and synthesis of a series of poly(benzyl ether)-type terthiophene-jacketed dendrimers. These dendrimers were designed as precursor macromolecules, which bear the electroactive terthiophene group that can be cross-linked by electrochemical methods to form a conjugated polymer network (CPN) polythiophene film. Characterization was done by NMR, elemental analysis, MALDI-TOF, and GPC to confirm the chemical structure and macromolecular properties of the dendrimers. Spectroscopic studies of thin films made by electropolymerization of these materials show the role that the dendrimer structure plays in the UV-vis absorption and emission properties of a highly cross-linked conjugated polymer film compared to linear polymers. The distinction is more evident in their emission behavior. Copolymerization studies in particular were made to investigate the formation of more linear π-conjugated sequences and their effect in the spectroscopic properties. The results showed improved intermolecular cross-linking with the formation of more emissive species in the visible region of the spectrum. Spectroelectrochemistry studies of these materials showed a highly reversible electrochromic switching behavior for the films.
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