PHOTOLAB HOMEPAGE

Welcome to the homepage for photochemistry research directed by
Prof. Scott D. Cummings in the Department of Chemistry at Kenyon College.


On this page you will find information about:

  • RESEARCH PROJECTS
  • RESEARCH STUDENTS
  • PRESENTATIONS
  • STUDENT PRESENTATIONS
  • RESEARCH EQUIPMENT
  • PHOTOCHEMISTRY RESOURCES
  • PHOTON
  •  

    RESEARCH PROJECTS

    My research interests involve photochemistry. I have been fascinated by this area of chemistry since the summer preceeding my freshman year in college, when I began a research project involving the photochemistry of manganese dimers. I worked on an undergraduate research project in my senior year that focused on developing new photoinitiators for the photoresist technology used by IBM. My graduate work focused on the photophysics of Pt(II) dithiolate complexes and the nonlinear optical properties of Ni(II), Pd(II) and Pt(II) mixed-ligand complexes. I am eager to share my enthusiasm for this field with a new generation of research students.

    The term photochemistry describes a broad area of research on how molecules absorb light, emit light and how chemical reactions can be driven using photonic energy. Of particular interest to my research lab is luminescence (fluorescence and phosphorescence): the light emitted from an excited-state molecule. Luminescence is a powerful and ubiquitous tool in modern research and the basis of numerous new and emerging technologies in the areas of light-emitting diodes, sensors, photomedicine and solar energy.

    There are several projects that I am currently working on with students. Each project allows students to explore many facets of chemistry research, including spectroscopic measurements (luminescence and absorption), inorganic and organic synthesis, characterization by NMR and IR spectroscopies, and molecular orbital calculations.

     

    There are openings in the Spring 2005 semester for new research students to join our team.  Please stop by and talk with me or one of the current students (listed below) if you are interested in getting involved with research. We can find a project to match your interests and experience level. Enthusiasm and dedication are essential.

     

    LUMINESCENT TRANSITION METAL COMPLEXES WITH POTENTIAL FOR HYDROGEN BONDING

    Transition metal complexes capable of hydrogen bonding have been employed in the design of new self-assembling materials, the development of sensors, studies of molecular recognition and investigations of electron transfer and energy transfer in biological systems. Recently, we found that a platinum(II) complex of the ligand "bad" (bad = barbiutric acid dithiolate) is weakly luminescent in solution - an unusual property for complexes of this type. This complex (and related systems under investigation) should be capable of hydrogen bonding, so our current efforts are focused on investigating how hydrogen bonding may affect luminescence properties.

    A student interested in contributing to this project could get involved in synthesis of metal complexes and/or luminescence spectroscopy.

     

    PHOTOLUMINESCENCE OF METAL HYDROXYQUINOLINE COMPLEXES

    Photoluminescence is the emission of light by a molecule that has been irradiated with light. Luminescent compounds are the driving force in two revolutionary technologies: molecular sensors and light emitting diodes (LEDs). In the coming years, luminescent compounds will become a standard component in numerous analytical devices, ranging from a "lab-on-a-chip" that will detect important biomolecules (DNA, glucose, NO, proteins, viruses) to environmental sensors that will detect trace pollutants or contaminants. Luminescent compounds will also be essential components in new types of LED, which will replace television screens and incandescent lighting.

    In recent years, a class of luminescent compounds known as metal hydroxyquinoline complexes ("MQ" complexes) have been shown to have interesting luminescence properties for both sensor and LED applications, and a vast amount of research has been directed into this area. Our research efforts have focused on investigations of the photoluminescent proporties of MQ complexes in solution. We are preparuing new types of MQ complexes, and investigating the role of solvent in affecting the emission wavelength (color) and quantum yield (brightness).

    A student interested in contributing to this project could get involved in synthesis of metal complexes and/or luminescence spectroscopy.

     

    BUILDING A MOLECULAR WIRE

    "Molecular wires" are the most basic components of chemical nanotechnology. Recent advances with organic molecules have guided chemists toward better ways to design "electronic super-pi-ways" to shuttle electrons or photonic energy in specific directions in nano-scale devices. Inorganic chemists have contibuted to the field by incorporating transition metal complexes having tunable redox and optical properties into conjugated organic polymers. We are beginning a new project to synthesize, characterize and study the optical and redox properties of metallo-organic systems containing Pt(II) terpyridine units.

    Students working on this project can be involved in organic or inorganic synthesis, luminescence and Uv-vis spectroscopy, electrochemistry or molecular orbital calculations.

     

    ARTIFICIAL PHOTOSYNTHESIS

    Imagine a world where fuel was renewable, locally produced and could be used without generating pollution or greenhouse gases. Such a vision is the goal of an active area of photochemistry research aimed at harnessing the energy of the sun to split water into oxygen and hydrogen, which could then be used as a clean fuel. Although the chemistry is simple on paper, the practical challenges to this attractive artificial photosynthetic scheme are tremendous.

    Some types of transition metal complexes are known to act as photocatalysts for the water-splitting reaction or for reduction of protons to hydrogen. The efficiencies of this process depend on many variables, including solvent, pH, and the use of additional compounds to act as "electron relay" molecules. This project will explore the photogeneration of hydrogen using transition metal complexes as photosensitizers.

    Students can be involved in photolysis experiments, UV-vis spectroscopy and gas chromatography.

     

    HONORS RESEARCH STUDENTS

    Emily Cole (2002)

    Jessica Carney (2000)

    Mauricio Cortes (1999) H. Chris Fry (1999) Karen E. Downey (1998)  Sarah E. Hobert (1997)

    RESEARCH STUDENTS

    Laurel Clark (F04) "Baddest Platinum Complexes"

    Katie Wetzel (F04) "Badder Platinum Complexes"

    Chris Wager (F02, S03) "Bad Platinum Complexes"

    Evan Gutherie (F00, S01, S02) "Hydrogen Bonding in Photoluminescent Platinum(II) Complexes"

    Scott Schoenberger (S02) "Synthesis of New Mixed Ligand Metal Complexes"

    Andrew Worthington (S02) "Fluorescent Probes of Micelles"

    Aaron Hamilton (S98, F00, S01) "Synthesis and Spectroscopy of Metal Hydroxyquinoline Complexes" and "Kinetics of cisplatin solvolysis"

    Erin Barr (F00, S01) "Design of Photoreactive Bimetallic Complexes and Photoactinometry"

    Evan Gutherie (F00, S01) "Platinum Exciplexes"

    Sara Beddow (S99, Sm99, F99) "Photoactivated Cisplatin Compounds: Kinetic and Thermodynamic Investigation"

    Jonathon Oppenheimer (Sm99) "Energy Transfer in Hydroxo-2,2':6',2"-terpyridine Platinum(II)"

    Will Wade (S98) "Introduction to Photoluminescence Spectroscopy"

    Alison Wolfgram (F97) "Kinetics of Solvolysis of Cisplatin Anti-tumor Drugs"

    Marla Fiorelli (F97) "Synthesis of 2,2':6',2"-terpyridine derivatives"

    Cindy Deal (OWU) (Sm97) "The Investigation of Photodissociation in Pt(II) Complexes"

    Nelson Yee (S97) "Synthesis and Spectroscopy of metallo-organic materials for nonlinear optics"

    Lisa Conway (F96) "Synthesis and Spectroscopy of Nickel(II) Barbituric Acid Dithiolate Complexes"

    Stephanie Segal (S96) "Synthesis of Platinum(II) Complexes of 4,4'-Dicarboxy-2,2'-bipyridine"

     

    PRESENTATIONS

    PRESENTED PAPERS

    INVITED LECTURES

    STUDENT PRESENTATIONS

    "Photoluminescent Metal Hydroxyquinoline Complexes" Emily Cole and Scott D. Kenyon College, Central Ohio Undergraduate Research Symposium, Gambier, OH. November 3, 2001.

    "XXXX" Jessica Carney and Scott D. Cummings. Oral Presentation, 10th Annual Argonne Symposium for Undergraduates in Science, Engineering and Mathematics, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL. November 5, 1999.

    "Investigations into the Photochemistry and Photokinetics of Cisplatin Derivatives" Sara Beddow and Scott D. Cummings. Oral Presentation, 10th Annual Argonne Symposium for Undergraduates in Science, Engineering and Mathematics, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL. November 5, 1999.

    "Investigations into the Photochemistry and Photokinetics of Cisplatin Derivatives" Sara Beddow and Scott D. Cummings. Poster Presentation, Central Ohio Undergraduate Research Symposium, Capital University, Delaware, OH. October 9, 1999.

    "Excited State Electron Transfer and Energy Transfer of Platinum(II) 2,2':6',2"-Terpyridine Complexes and Controlling Factors" Mauricio Cortes* and Scott D. Cummings. Oral Presentation, National Conference on Undergraduate Research, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. April 8, 1999.

    "Photodissociation Studies of Ethylenediaminedichloroplatinum(II)" H. Christopher Fry* and Scott D. Cummings. Oral Presentation, National Conference on Undergraduate Research, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. April 8, 1999.

    "Quenching Studies of Pt(II) 2,2':6',2"-Terpyridine Complexes via Electron Transfer and Energy Transfer" Mauricio Cortes* and Scott D. Cummings. Oral Presentation, 9th Annual Argonne Symposium for Undergraduates in Science, Engineering and Mathematics, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL. November 6, 1998.

    "Photoinduced Electron Transfer and Energy Transfer of Pt(II) 2,2':6',2"-Terpyridine Complexes" Mauricio Cortes* and Scott D. Cummings. Poster Presentation, Central Ohio Undergraduate Research Symposium, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH. October 11, 1998

    "Photophysics of the Pt(terpy)X]Y System: Photoluminescent Metallo-intercalators" Karen E. Downey* and Scott D. Cummings. Oral Presentation, National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Salisbury State University, Salisbury, MD. April , 1998.

    "Photophysics of the Pt(terpy)X]Y System: Photoluminescent Metallo-intercalators" Karen E. Downey* and Scott D. Cummings. Oral Presentation, 8th Annual Argonne Symposium for Undergraduates in Science, Engineering and Mathematics, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL. November 1, 1997

    "Synthesis of New Square-Planar Platinum(II) Terpyridine Complexes: Candidates for Photoluminescent DNA Probe Applications" Sarah E. Hobert* and Scott D. Cummings. Oral Presentation, National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Austin, TX. April 24-26, 1997.

    "Synthesis of New Square-Planar Platinum(II) Terpyridine Complexes: Candidates for Photoluminescent DNA Probe Applications" Sarah E. Hobert* and Scott D. Cummings. Poster Presentation, 213th American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Francisco, CA. April 13-17, 1997.

    "Synthesis of New Square-Planar Platinum(II) Terpyridine Complexes: Candidates for Photoluminescent DNA Probe Applications" Sarah E. Hobert* and Scott D. Cummings. Oral Presentation, 7th Annual Argonne Symposium for Undergraduates in Science, Engineering and Mathematics, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL. November 1, 1996

     

    RESEARCH EQUIPMENT

    PHOTOCHEMISTRY RESOURCES

    PHOTON

    Photon is our lab goldfish. Despite an occasional confusion about whether he is a particle or a wave, photon seemed to enjoy watching us work in the lab. We, in turn, have enjoyed watching him.

    R.I.P

    1997-1999

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