Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Elizabeth Harbron

Committee Members

Robert Hinkle

William McNamara

Jonathan Arries


The object of this study is to investigate and optimize conjugated polymer nanoparticles that have been doped with photoreactive dyes that can reversibly modulate the pH of a solution. For this research, a poly(phenylene ethynylene)-derived polymer was used in conjunction with two different 2-hydrooxyazobene molecules as dyes. As a result of energy transfer between the nanoparticle and the dyes, irradiation of the nanoparticles with ultraviolet light results in the excitation of the dye molecules, which undergo a photoisomerization that releases acid into solution. Once that irradiation source is removed, the acid is reabsorbed by the molecule. Furthermore, this process can be monitored by the change in fluorescence of the nanoparticles. Nanoparticle tools like this could be used in the fight against multidrug resistant bacteria, and may find further utility in the field of materials science.

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