Chemistry Seminar Presented by Prof. Elizabeth Young: "From Photodynamic Therapy to Controlling Excited-State Dynamics with Protons: Photophysics of Pd(II)biladiene and Azo dyes"

September 15, 2023
1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Event sponsored by:



Chem Admin Office


Elizabeth Young


Elizabeth Young, Lehigh University
The Department of Chemistry is excited to host Professor Elizabeth Young (Lehigh University). To learn more about the Young lab's work, please visit their research page: From Photodynamic Therapy to Controlling Excited-State Dynamics with Protons: Photophysics of Pd(II)biladiene and Azo dyes Solar light harvesting and interconversion of solar energy into either electricity or driving force for small molecule activation reactions are critical to the production of energy and other processes that our society requires to function. In this talk, I will discuss two project united by photochemistry, each with their own application. In the first vignette, I will discuss a porphyrinoid complex, called a Pd(II)biladiene, This Pd(II)biladiene moiety was designed for use as a photosensitizer drug for photodynamic therapy. Up until this point, the excited-state dynamics of such biladiene complexes have been virtually unexplored. During our work on this moiety, we discovered that while excitation into the lowest-energy absorption feature of the Pd(II)biladiene complexes produces expected photophysics, interestingly, excitation into higher-lying excited states resulted in an additional, unexpected lifetime. I will discuss our work to propose the cause of this unexpected behavior. In the second vignette, I will discuss our recent work on a ubiquitous industrial dye that is a major cause of pollution in developing countries. Azo dyes are a class of organic molecules defined by an N=N double bond connecting two aromatic moieties. They are the single most common dyes used in industrial processes, found in everything from colorants and cosmetic additives to textile reagents, biologic indicators, and organic synthons. They present a significant pollution problem because untreated dyes released into waterways can be ingested and are toxic to humans and animals. Our recent studies shed light on their photophysics and how we can manipulate their photophysical evolution. Hosted by David Beratan and Michael Therien