Accidental Discovery Leads to Process Improvements

Boron subphthalocyanine polymers by facile coupling to poly (acrylic acid-ran-styrene) copolymers and the associated problems with autoinitition when employing nitroxide mediated polymerization, an article by Professor Tim Benderand Post Doctoral Fellow Benoit Lessard of the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry at U of T, is now featured in

“People in polymer synthesis would be very interested in the process described in our paper, as we document the discovery of a side-product. This side-product is quite unexpected based on our current knowledge of polymer chemistry,” says Professor Bender.

The article by Bender and Lessard reports a simple and straightforward synthesis of Boron subphthalocyanines (BsubPcs) containing polymers that can be used in organic electronic devices. What makes their article so unique is that it also describes the discovery of a new side-product of a common polymer synthesis technique, which would not have been observed without the addition of the BsubPc to this standard polymer.

“Currently BsubPc polymers do not have any commercial applications. However, by studying their properties and finding new and inexpensive ways to synthesize them, we are able to open the door for potential applications in the field of organic electronics,” says Lessard.

The identification of their side-product implies that commercial polymers used in sealants, adhesives, toys and even medical implants may also contain this particular side-product. The reduction in formation of this side-product could result in increased polymer yields and more predictable final material properties.

To extend their research, Professor Bender and Lessard have identified ways to bypass their side-product. They are also investigating the optical and electrical properties of BsubPc polymers to implement their use in organic electronic devices, such as organic field-effect transistors, organic light emitting diodes and organic photovoltaics. is the premier news portal for materials science experts from across the globe. To read Professor Bender and Lessard’s article, visit

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