Research Projects

Flexible Lewis Pairs

Our group has designed a dynamic chromophore based on a bithiophene core with lewis pair functionalities that undergoes twisting in response to temperature or solvent conditions. This results in changes to fluorescence properties such as color and emission lifetime. We are currently investigating this system as a stain for fluorescence microscopy and for nanoparticle tracking.

Sulfur-bridged chromophores

The role of a sulfur bridge between two aromatic molecules has been extensively studied in our group. Oxidation of the sulfur bridge can be used to increase the fluorescence quantum yield of the system. In bridged anthracene systems, a novel form of photochromism is observed whereby the sulfur bridge is ejected, resulting in a large increase in fluorescence quantum yield and color that is being investigated for anti-counterfeiting inks.

Photochromic dyes

Dithienylethene's are a class of photochromic molecules that undergoes a ring closing or opening event upon irradiation with light. Our research investigates this use of this photoreaction for the tuning of the photophysical properties of fluorescent dyes, investigating their use in AIE systems and super-resolution optical microscopy.

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Photo-oxidative polymer crosslinking

Light-based polymer crosslinking techniques are important for the development of rapid lithography and 3D printing of soft materials. Our research examines novel crosslinking reactions that are mechanistically distinct from conventional radical systems, using visible light and atmospheric oxygen as the oxidizing species.

Organometallic complexes

Our research involving organometallic compounds investigates both the electrochemical and photophysical aspects of metal complexes, focusing on investigating the structure-property response achieved through rigorous ligand design. We are primarily interested in these complexes for photoredox chemistry and as emitters in OLED devices.