The innovation engine for new materials

Stephanie Moffitt

Stephanie Moffitt


University of California Santa Barbara



Site Abroad: 

School of Chemistry/CRANN, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland


Dania Movia
Kevin Flavin

Faculty Sponsor(s): 

Silvia Giordani

Project Title: 

The Spectroscopic Analysis of the Supramolecular Assembly of a Spiropyran-pyrene Derivative on SWNTs

Project Description: 

A spiropyran(SP) is a molecule which responds to external stimulation, such as light, by undergoing reversible structural changes and photo physical properties. Single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are rolled sheets of graphene. They exhibit unusual electronic, mechanical, and absorptive properties which make them potentially useful in extremely small scale electronic and mechanical applications. A spiropyran has been bonded to a pyrene (PY) structure in hopes that it will allow the spiropyran-pyrene derivative (SP-PY) to non-covalently bond to SWNTs. By combining SWNTs with a spiropyran the potential exists for a material which will be able to reversibly alter the near IR photo luminescence as well as the electronic properties of SWNTs. Such a material would find numerous applications in both nano electronics and nano medicine. This project sought to spectroscopically analyze the effect that the covalently attached pyrene had on the photo-physical properties of a spiropyran. It also investigated whether the structure of the pyrene will allow a spiropyran molecule to be non-covalently bonded to SWNTs. It was shown that the reversible property of the SP-PY can be seen when SWNTs are combined with the SP-PY in water and the SWNTs are dispersed in the solution. More work must be done to affirm whether the SWNTs and the SP-PY are non-covalently bonded to each other.