Engaging Underrepresented Undergraduate Students in Organic Semiconductor Research

Due to COVID restrictions, it was difficult to bring undergraduate researchers into our laboratory over the Summer of 2021. So instead, we reached out to local PUI Centre College in Danville, KY, and particularly Prof. Vanessa Song, a first-year professor at that institution. Working with her, we found a series of hydrocarbon alkynes suitable for an undergraduate synthetic lab at a PUI, and remotely assisted Prof. Song in mentoring her students in the art of alkyne synthesis. The materials that they made were sent to the University of Kentucky team, where they were incorporated into acene chromophores, crystal structures collected, and these materials compared to their silicon-containing analogs. Along with the addition of several new structures to the OCELOT database, the results led to publication in Materials Advances.

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