Recent advances have led to the development of a range of methods for the synthesis of finely engineered poly (p-phenylene)s (PPPs) having improved solubility and film-forming properties. The present article describes recent directions in the preparation of PPPs with various polymeric side-chains. It is possible to prepare PPP graft copolymers with complex macromolecular architectures by the use of macromonomers prepared by controlled polymerization routes, namely atom transfer radical polymerization or ring opening polymerization and may contain either bromine or the ester boronic functional groups, both useful. for example, in Suzuki polycondensation or Yamamoto coupling. The new tailored structures of PPP graft copolymers may find applications in various areas, including use as light emitting diodes or sensing devices. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.