Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair(s)

Lisa M. Berreau


Lisa M. Berreau


Yujie Sun


Alvan C. Hengge


Marie K. Walsh


Bradley S. Davidson


Carbon monoxide (CO) is an extremely useful molecule with applications in industrial manufacturing, synthetic procedures as a C1 building block, and as a potential pharmaceutical to produce anti-inflammatory effects and vasodilation. However, the toxicity associated with CO has prevented its full utilization. In order to safely handle CO, compounds and molecules have been developed that act as storage materials for the gas. Ideal storage platforms only release CO upon stimulation via a trigger. Light activation is the most desirable trigger as it can be regulated in terms of the intensity and the wavelength of light used. The majority of light-induced CO-storage platforms that have been reported to date consist of metal carbonyl compounds where CO is bound directly to a metal center. However, disadvantages inherent to this motif, such as potential toxicity associated with the metal and lack of characterization of CO release remnant(s), has pushed the research community to search for alternative CO storage structures.

The research presented in this dissertation outlines our approach toward the development of safe-to-handle, light-induced CO release platforms. We use a flavonol structure similar to those found in fruits and vegetables, such as quercetin, as a light-induced CO release unit. Through changes in the structure of the flavonol and its surrounding environment in chemical compounds, we have found ways to strategically control the light-induced CO release reactivity of the flavonol. Chemical compounds developed in this project are of interest for studying the effects of CO in biological systems and applications in synthetic processes.



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