Faculty Advisor

Dr. Robert E. Connors

Faculty Advisor

Dr. John C. MacDonald

Faculty Advisor

Dr. James P. Dittami

Faculty Advisor

Dr. John Lombardi


" A series of symmetric and asymmetric 2-arylidene and 2,5-diarylidene cyclopentanone dyes have been synthesized. Their electronic absorption and fluorescence spectra have been measured in a wide variety of nonpolar and polar, aprotic and protic solvents. Absorption and fluorescence spectral maxima have been correlated with the ET(30) empirical solvent polarity scale. Lippert-Mataga analysis (in aprotic solvents) demonstrates the increase in the electronic dipole moment from the ground singlet to excited singlet states, consistent with the internal charge transfer (ICT) nature of the S0 --> S1 excitation. TD-DFT spectral calculations support the ICT natures of these compounds. Photophysical properties of these compounds involved measuring both fluorescence quantum yields and lifetimes in various solvents. Investigation of the deactivation kinetics involved determining the first-order radiative and nonradiative rates of decay upon knowledge of the quantum yield and lifetime data. Fluorescence quantum yields and lifetimes of the compounds studied varied depending on the nature of the solvent environments. Excited state protonation in acetic acid was observed for several 2,5-diarylidene cyclopentanones and deltapKa’s have been determined via the Forster Cycle. Thorough work on the photochemistry of (2E,5E)-2,5-bis(p-dimethylaminobenzylidene)-cyclopentanone (bis-dmab) was carried out, consisting of testing bis-dmab as a singlet oxygen photosensitizer, and examination of both the chemical reactivity of bis-dmab with singlet state oxygen (self-sensitized photooxidation) and (E,E) --> (E,Z) photoisomerization. "


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Chemistry & Biochemistry

Project Type


Date Accepted





photochemistry, solvatochromism, internal charge transfer, photophysical, spectroscopic, ketocyanine dyes