Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. Andrew G. Sykes


In the past, we have demonstrated the photophysical properties of several anthraquinone derivatives that act as a luminescent host for various environmental and biological cations. Here we extend our expertise in photochemistry to the class of chemicals containing the pyridoxal moiety. Several ligands were synthesized using eco-friendly, simple, one-step reactions via Schiff base and condensation reactions. The optical properties of these ligands were examined with a series of cations. We demonstrated the ability to detect the biologically important zinc ion in living cells such as RAW 264.7 and HEK 293 via fluorescence signaling. In addition, we extend our explorations to catalysis and electrochemistry, where we studied the catalytic activity of several palladium/platinum anthraquinone complexes coordinating through selenium and tellurium atoms in Suzuki cross-coupling reactions. The efficiency of catalysis was measured with the help of GC-MS spectroscopy, and the PdxSey nanoparticles that formed during the catalysis in situ were analyzed with SEM, EDX, and TEM. The bulk electrochemical reduction of 1,8-substituted anthraquinone crown ethers was also conducted, and the bulk electrolysis products were analyzed with several analytical techniques such as atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), Single-Crystal XRD, NMR, IR, and ESI-MS spectroscopy. Our study demonstrated the ability to expand the development of sensors that selectively and sensitively detect metal ions using catalysis and electrolysis to advance these chemical transformations. Finally, we demonstrated the multi-step synthesis of dipyrazolylpyridine ligand and its ruthenium complexes for practical applications in DSSCs. These ruthenium-dipyrazolylpyridine complexes were characterized with the help of CHN analyses, IR, NMR, and/or ESI-MS spectroscopy. We studied the photophysical properties of one of the intermediate compounds, which is highly fluorescence and quenched in the presence of Cu(II) ions.

Subject Categories

Chemistry | Materials Chemistry



Number of Pages



University of South Dakota

Available for download on Thursday, August 22, 2024