A Year of N-Confusion: Determining Aggregation in N-Confused Porphyrins Using UV-Vis Spectroscopy

Head shot of Nina Catalfo

Name: Nina Catalfo
Major: Chemistry
Minor: English
Advisor: Dr. Paul Bonvallet; Dr. Karl Feierabend (second reader)

N-confused porphyrins, a porphyrin derivative with a nitrogen atom on the outside of the pyrrole ring structure of a porphyrin core, have unique properties which allow them to both absorb visible light and donate electrons. These unique properties make them ideal candidates for electron donors in heterojunction solar cells. Because porphyrins have the potential to interact with themselves in an organized, vertical manner, researchers were prompted to create a new N-confused porphyrin derivative that could self-aggregate through dipole-dipole interactions and hydrogen bonding. N-confused porphyrins, with their absorption and electron donating capabilities, along with their ability to self-aggregate, have been considered as a candidate to create an ideal columnar array for use in solar cells. Previous studies report an N-confused porphyrin compound synthesized specifically to self-aggregate. In this study, however, two N-confused porphyrins were synthesized and their absorbance properties were investigated via UV-Vis spectroscopy in both DCM and CHCl3. Both Beer’s Law plots and absorbance spectra were used to determine aggregation behavior at high concentrations. Evidence shows potential aggregation for both porphyrins in DCM, and maximum wavelength shifts to longer wavelengths could indicate that a specific type of aggregation, J-type aggregation, is occurring. Due to difficulty in purifying N-confused porphyrins, future work could consist of switching to an alternate porphyrin core, as porphyrins (as compared to N-confused porphyrins) are easier to purify and can produce higher yields upon synthesis, and they have the same potential to self-aggregate as N-confused porphyrins.


Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2022.

8 responses to “A Year of N-Confusion: Determining Aggregation in N-Confused Porphyrins Using UV-Vis Spectroscopy”

  1. Nancy keller says:

    Yay Nina! Proud of your work!

  2. Nina Catalfo says:

    Thank you, Mrs. Keller!!!!!

  3. Holly McAnlis says:

    Congrats Nina!

  4. Nina Catalfo says:

    Thanks Holly! Good working with you this year!

  5. Jennifer Faust says:

    I always enjoy a good application of Beer’s law. Congrats on your I.S., Nina!

  6. Megan Zins says:

    Thank you for sharing your poster Nina! Congrats on all the hard work you have done over the last two years!

  7. Maha Rashid says:

    Great work!

  8. Rachel Greer says:

    Congrats Nina!! Such an amazing job!

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