Photochemical Sciences Ph.D. Dissertations


Boronic Acids as Optical Chemosensors for Saccharides and Phosphate Related Analytes

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Photochemical Sciences

First Advisor

Pavel Anzenbacher Jr. (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Wendy Manning (Other)

Third Advisor

Malcolm Forbes (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Jayaraman Sivaguru (Committee Member)


In the recent years, science has faced and is till facing numerous challenges associated with climate changes, environment pollution, food production, and access to inexpensive healthcare to name a few. These challenges have also created opportunities for fundamental research and development of new technologies that could alleviate the above problems. One example of such research activities is also the research and development of materials and methods useful for detecting and analyzing food or beverage components, environmental pollutants, or markers of important biological processes. Within this general field, molecules and materials that can be used as fluorescence-based sensors are very attractive. This is because of their potential for superior sensitivity at low cost and the fact that their operation does not require expensive equipment and highly trained personnel. Thus, the synthesis and investigation of supramolecular sensors that respond to analytes such as saccharides in food or beverage sources, or phosphates that are widely used as fertilizers and are also the source of eutrophication of water bodies are of both fundamental and practical importance. This dissertation describes the studies focused on supramolecular fluorescent chemosensors that are able to distinguish among various analytes that are structurally similar. We have synthesized and studied chemosensors for sensing of saccharides and their mixtures in beverages, as well as self-assembly based sensors for the detection of biologically important phosphate anions. Here, the sensing of phosphate-type anions is not only important for monitoring of eutrophication agents (orthophosphate and in lesser extent also oligo-/polyphosphates), but also for future application in biotechnologies such as quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). We hope that our contributions to research in sensors would contribute to further advancement of our knowledge and potential practical applications.