Available for Licensing

IP Status

US Utility Patent: US 9249071


Steven H Strauss
Olga V Boltalina
Igor V Kuvychko

At A Glance
  • Chemical synthesis that controllably adds perfluoroalkyl groups to nearly any polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH).
  • Resulting compounds are novel organic semiconductors with advantageous and customizable electronic properties.
  • Application to flexible electronics such as OLED displays and organic photovoltaic solar cells (OPVs).


Licensing Director

Jessy McGowan 

Reference No.: 12-042


The laboratory of Dr. Steven Strauss has been a pioneer in the field of fluorination and perfluoroalkylation chemistry for over a decade. They have become world experts in the fluorination of various forms of “nanocarbon”, in particular fullerenes (aka buckyballs) and more recently a class of compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). To be useful, PAHs must be chemically altered so as to optimize their electronic properties. Typically, these reactions are difficult to control, expensive, and result in highly impure products.


Technology Overview

The Strauss group has developed a perfluoroalkylation synthesis technique that is easily controlled and is highly selective – thus it results in very pure products. The method is general and can be used to modify a wide variety of PAHs. The procedure is a one-step reaction that does not require a solvent (is thus a very “green” chemistry).

In addition to a novel synthesis technique, this technology has opened the door to a whole new class of compounds, most of which can be patented as novel compositions of matter. Excitingly, these modified PAHs behave as organic semiconductors with electronic properties that appear to be well-suited for the light absorbing component of organic photovoltaics.

Broadly, organic semiconductors represent a large emergent market segment that promises to bring a new revolution of flexible and cheap consumer electronics and conformal power generation devices (solar cells that can be easily mounted on curved surfaces, such as cars, buildings, and any large structures). Commercial devices based on organic light emitting diodes are already available (smartphones and large displays by Samsung and Sony and even head-mount displays by Zeiss).

This technology has clear application in the area of organic electronic devices, including highly energy efficient OLED technology and OPV. Organic electronics are attractive to industry for many reasons and may be especially vital to the emerging area of flexible electronics. OLED technology is already a global industry.

Advantages / Benefits
  • Methods well suited for preparation of PAHs carring large number of RF groups in one selective step
  • Solvent-free
  • Environmentally friendly (“green chemistry” methods)
  • First successful use of specialized fullerene HPLC column Cosmosil Buckyprep for analysis and separation of mixtures of derived PAH compounds
  • Ability to isolate many different poly(perfluoroalkylated) PAH compounds

Kuvychko, Igor V., et al. “Taming Hot CF3 Radicals: Incrementally Tuned Families of Polyarene Electron Acceptors for Air‐Stable Molecular Optoelectronics.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 25 Mar. 2013, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/anie.201300085.

Last updated: May 2020