Photochemistry & Photophysics

of Transition Metal Complexes and Nanomaterials

A major research theme of the Ford Group involves the ellucidation of the fundamental properties, reaction dynamics, and mechanisms of excited states (ES) and reactive intermediates formed by electronic excitation of various systems including transition metal compounds and nanomaterials.  We apply many of these systems in developing effective photoactivated 'caged' species for (potential) small molecule bioregulators such as NO, CS2 or CO. 

narrated by Dr. Peter Burks. 

Methodologies employed include the synthesis and characterization of these materials, as well as a wide range of flash/continuous wave photolysis, two photon excitation, and luminescence spectroscopic techniques.This work has long been supported by the US National Science Foundation, and many of its students by the PIRE-ECCI and ConvEne IGERT programs.

General scheme NO doped for UCNP

Although ongoing interest has been primarily focused on developing photochemical strategies for delivering bioactive agents to specific targets, the photochemical research activities include: 

  1. The photochemical investigations of metal nitrosyl, carbonyl, and nitrito complexes
  2. The synthesis and photochemistry of polychromophoric compounds
  3. Quantum dots (QDs), upconverting nanoparticle (UNPCs), and other nano-sized antennae for photosensitization
  4. FRET energy transfer from QD to 'caged' NO complex CrONOThe synthesis and photochemistry of various surface ligands for our nanoparticle-based systems, including CS2 precursors. 
  5. Two-photon excitation (2PE) photochemistry
  6. Time resolved spectroscopy of reactive excited states and intermediates
  7. Design of new polymer based nano- and micro-carriers of NO, CO or CS2 that can be activated by tissue-penetrating near-infrared light for targeted delivery of these bioactive agents to specific physiological sites.