Date of Award

Fall 12-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD. Chemistry


Chemistry and Biochemistry


Sergiu M. Gorun, Ph.D.


Sergiu M. Gorun, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James E. Hanson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tinchun T. Chu, Ph.D.


Functionalized fluorinated phthalocyanines, Metal oxides, Photocatalysts, Thioethers, Reactive oxygen species (ROS), Bacteria


Phthalocyanines, a class of photosensitizers that generate 1O2 using visible light, have been widely used in a variety of applications such as catalysis, solid-state materials, and photodynamic therapy. A 3rd generation, namely functionalized fluorinated phthalocyanines, F48H7(COOH)PcMetal, containing a carboxylic acid “tail” allows the Pc to be anchored onto supports such as metal oxides, producing a new family of supported photocatalysts, F48H7(COOH)PcZn-Oxides.

These new materials photooxidize toxic thioethers mainly to less toxic sulfoxides using visible light and air, a genuine green chemistry pathway. The catalysts are robust and survive reactive oxygen species (ROS) they produce under homogeneous, slurry (heterogeneous) and solid-state conditions. 1O2 photoproduction kinetics depend on excitation light intensity, using the Q-band region, 650-800 nm.

In addition to reducing chemical toxicity, F48H7(COOH)PcZn overcomes bacterial antimicrobial resistance using visible light, achieving over 80% inhibition of both Gram-negative, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as well as Gram-positive bacteria, Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus.

Functionalized fluorinated photosensitizers could be useful for chemical and biological cleaning and protection of people against chemical and biological hazards.

Available for download on Saturday, October 26, 2024