January 15, 2013
Amy Keirstead, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Physics, recently published an article titled “Direct Observation of Spiropyran Phosphorescence in Imidazolium Ionic Liquids” in the journal Chemical Physics Letters. The article includes work done by undergraduate student co-authors Sean Naughton (Biochemistry and Medical Biology ’13), Robyn Gaudet (Chemistry ’11) and Annie Leslie (Neuroscience ’13).
The study describes the luminescence behavior of a novel “on-off” molecular switch (the spiropyran) in a series of ionic liquids, which are thought to be “green” alternatives to conventional solvents. Specifically, the spiropyran was shown to emit both red fluorescence and blue-green phosphorescence in the ionic liquids compared to only fluorescence in molecular solvents, and it is the first reported example of spiropyran phosphorescence in ionic liquids. This type of system could be used to form a robust two-state-two-color emitting “switch” device for future nanotechnology applications.
(Complete citation: Sean P. Naughton, Robyn M. Gaudet, Anne A. Leslie, Amy E. Keirstead. Chemical Physics Letters 556 (2013) 102-107.)