Phosphaphenalene derivatives

Our research interests are focussed on the development of novel phosphorus/boron-based architectures with outstanding electronic and photophysical properties. Our ultimate goal is to conceive multi-responsive materials; i.e. systems with the capacity to respond to diverse external stimuli: light, pressure, electric current, etc.

In particular, through a bottom-up approach, we merge the organic and inorganic syntheses to prepare new molecules and tailor their structural features to trigger a multi-responsive behavior at the macromolecular scale. Implicit is the investigations of new synthetic methods to prepare the novel phosphorus/boron-based molecules. 

We seek to prepare fully functional mate-rials. To that end, we first thoroughly investigate the new molecules with a wide array of physico-chemical techniques, and finally explore their applicationin fields such as organic electronics  and bio- medical applications.

© 2017 Carlos Romero Nieto

C. Romero-Nieto Research Group

A representative example of systems developed in our group are the phosphaphenalenes; i.e. fused molecules based on six-membered phosphorus heterocycles (see publication nº 27). Our group reported a new synthetic protocol to access pi-extended phosphaphenalenes fused with electron donors or acceptors as well as aromatic hydrocarbons. The synthetic versatility of the method allowed us to prepare, for instance, highly fluorescent materials with ambipolar redox properties. More importantly, through suitable structural modification, we succeeded in preparing multi-responsive molecules; i.e. phosphorus-based architectures capable, among others, to emit light when applying an electric current and, in the inverse way, to generate an electric current when applying light.

All in all, our phosphaphenalenes possess new and fascinating properties that open up an exciting field of research. Currently, our ongoing research is intended to explore the challenges associated with the design and preparation of the next generations of multi-responsive phosphorus/boron-based materials. By means of a multidisciplinary strategy, we envision molecular structures as vehicles not only to obtain new materials’ phenomena, but also to comprehend their behavior from the molecular to the macroscopic scale. Thus, our investigations cover a variety of fields, from synthesis to electrochemistry and spectroscopy. In turn, our research lines are significantly enhanced by strong collaborations with theoretical and experimental research groups. Moreover, the functional applications of our systems are facilitated by collaborations with experts on devices engineering.



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