Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

McCarroll, Matthew


In the first study, a new µ-HPLC column was developed using a monolithic silica gel as a column substrate for chiral separation by covalently modifying with (S, S)-Whelk-O1 chiral selector. The monolithic stationary phase was generated through a sol-gel process and prepared in situ in a 100 µm i.d. fused silica capillary tubing. The chromatographic performance was characterized in terms of retention factor, column efficiency, enantioselectivity and resolution, as well as the kinetics parameters affecting the separation. Comparison with a commercial particle packed HPLC column demonstrates a promising enantioselective resolving ability of the monolithic Whelk-O1 capillary column. The second project focuses on characterization of fluorescent sensor for zinc detection. In this work, we have examined the photophysical properties of the fluorescent probe sensor that has been developed in our laboratory for Zn2+ recognition via a photo-induced electron transfer (PET) sensing mechanism. To characterize the fundamental function of sensor, response curves have been conducted, using acetone/methanol (199:1), 1,4-dioxane, acetone, methanol and aqueous buffer as the solvent system. Similar to prior work from our group, the sensor was found to respond selectively to Zn2+ ions with fluorescence enhancement. The fluorescence properties and binding response were evaluated in the presence of water and a Lewis base, which we found to have a marked effect on the fluorescence signal. The selectivity of the sensor for Zn2+ was also observed and compared to other divalent metal such as Ca2+, Mg2+, Cu2+ and Hg2+ with the goal of learning fundamental information on the system that can aid in the development of future PET based sensors.




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