A versatile, and generally applicable modular approach for making second-order nonlinear optical (NLO) side-chain aromatic polyquinolines has been developed. This approach emphasizes the ease of incorporating NLO chromophores onto the pendent phenyl moieties of parent polyquinolines at the final stage via mild Mitsunobu reaction. This method provides the synthesis of polyquinolines with a broad variation of the polymer backbones and great flexibility in the selection of NLO chromophores. These side-chain NLO polyquinolines demonstrate high electro-optic (E-O) activity (up to 35 pm/V at 830 nm and 22 pm/V at 1300 nm, respectively) and a good combination of thermal, optical, electrical and mechanical properties.
Comparatively, two new electroluminescent (EL) polyquinolines have been prepared via the Friedlander condensation and nucleophilic reaction. The resulting polymers contain a bipolar property with both an efficient hole-transporting moiety, tetraphenyldiaminobiphenyl (TPD), and an electron affinitive light-emitting moiety, bis-quinoline. In addition, they possess high thermal stability, excellent electrochemical reversibility, good thin film-forming ability, and bright light-emitting property. Electrical characterization of two-layer diode devices based on the configurations of ITO/CuPc/TPD-PQ or TPD-PQE/Al showed excellent electroluminescence performance (a rectification ratio greater than 105 and a low turn-on voltage of less than 4 V).