6C.3 Progress in Synthesis, Characterization, Spectroscopic of Vapoluminescent materials for VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) Detection

Saturday, 14 November 2009: 9:00 AM
Zerihun Assefa, NCAT, Greensboro, NC; and D. E. Jenkins, N. Beedoe, C. Crawford, and K. Whitehead

Research in our laboratory has focused on rationally designed new multidentate ligands that possess several active sites for bimetallic incorporations. The research focus has been on the development of “vapoluminescent” compounds that can incorporate VOCs of interest and change their luminescent behavior. The approach being pursued involves synthesis of new multidentate ligands that can ligate metal centers in close proximity. Benziimidazole based ligands are the primary targets that are being tailored for this application. The targeted ligands are new, hence students are given the task of developing the synthetic steps and formulate a simplified route that may provide a reasonably high yield. After successfully completing this step, the research will proceed towards establishing a correlation between the metal-metal (M-M) interaction and the VOC inclusion in the lattice. As the source of a metal centered emission, any change in the M-M interaction should also affect the emission energy and/or intensity, hence attaining luminescence-sensing capability for the interacting VOC. In a related area, synthesis of lanthanide complexes that display unique hollow structural features are also being considered as likely candidates for incorporating VOCs of interest. The initial step involves preparation of compounds that contain multiple donor species that can cooperatively enhance the lanthanide emission. In doing so we hope to create systems with highly efficient lanthanide luminescence via cooperative energy transfer from the donor groups.

In the second phase of this study, we will incorporate the VOC of interest and observe sensing mode via luminescence technique. This work is being conducted with four graduate students and three undergraduates supported by NOAA-EPP funding.

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