Research efforts are centered on the synthesis and characterization of compounds likely to demonstrate sensitivity to solvation in both absorption and fluorescence. Practical applications of these compounds include use as spectrochemical probes of different chemical and biochemical environments, as sensor elements, and as candidate non-linear optical materials. A example is DCN-2,5-DMOB, which exhibits the charge-transfer character often associated with such compounds:


A wide variety of aromatics and nitrogen and sulfur containing heterocycles offer numerous possibilities for experimental studies of solvatochromic effects with undergraduates. REU students participating in such research, have the opportunity to gain experience in several specific areas:

  1. collection and interpretation of absorption and fluorescence excitation and emission spectra
  2. classical organic synthetic methods
  3. purification of compounds through thin layer and column chromatography
  4. collection and interpretation of mass spectral and NMR spectral data
  5. computational modeling of the geometry and electronic structure of solvatochromic compound.

Additional Information

Brian Williams
Professor of Chemistry


316 Rooke Chemistry Bldg
P: 570.577.1143