Two photon absorption, janus dione, photocatalysis, fluorescence imaging, organic nanoparticles


The two-photon absorption (2PA) phenomenon has attracted attention from various fields ranging from chemistry and biology to optics and engineering. Two of the common NLO applications in which organic materials have been used are three-dimensional (3D) fluorescence imaging and optical power limiting. Two-photon absorbing materials are, therefore, in great demand to meet the needs of emerging technologies. Organic molecules show great promise to meet this need as they can be customized through molecular engineering, and as the development of two-photon materials that suit practical application intensifies, so does research to meet this need. However, there remains some uncertainty in the particulars of design criteria for molecules with large 2PA cross sections at desired wavelengths, as such research to understand structure-property relationships is matter of significant importance. As a result, the full potential of 2PA materials has not been fully exploited. Several strategies to enhance the magnitude and tune the wavelength of 2PA have been reported for ?-conjugated organic molecules. On this account, we have designed novel fluorophores using the fluorene moiety and modified it to tune the properties of the compounds. Chapter 2 of this dissertation reports the successful application of fluorene-based compounds in photocatalysis; a process that involves the decomposition of organic compounds into environmentally friendly carbon dioxide and water attesting to the photostability of the fluorene moiety. A facile organic nanoparticle preparation method is reported in chapter 3 using the reprecipitation method, whose surface was then modified using a naturally occurring surfactant, Lecithin, and were then successfully used in fluorescence cell imaging. Chapter 4 reports the design and synthesis of a fluorene-based compound using an acceptor, s-indacene-1, 3, 5, 7(2H, 6H)-tetra one, or Janus Dione, a moiety that is relatively new and that has not been fully exploited despite its very attractive features. Owing to the hydrophobicity of this compound, notwithstanding its unprecedented 2PA cross section, it was not applicable in fluorescence cell imaging but provided the tenets for the design of related derivative. This limitation was circumvented in the concluding chapter by tuning the compound's hydrophilicity. The hydrophilic Janus dione probe was then used as envisioned for cell imaging as the dual prerequisites for fluorescence imaging probes; large 2PA cross sections and high fluorescence quantum yields were met.


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Graduation Date





Belfield, Kevin


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Sciences



Degree Program









Release Date

May 2018

Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Included in

Chemistry Commons