About the Project
The research will make use of a new experimental set up at Heriot-Watt University to study the condensed phase excited state dynamics of several systematically varied porphyrin species using ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy. Porphyrins are often used as photosensitizers in the initial step of the PDT process as they readily undergo triplet state formation via intersystem crossing following photoexcitation. The triplet state photosensitizer then interacts with triplet molecular oxygen to yield singlet molecular oxygen, which is the active species that can be used to attack cancer cells in the body. The project will focus on several key factors affecting the overall efficiency of this process including (i) the effects of different metal centres within the porphyrin structure, (ii) the influence of concentration and aggregation, and (iii) the role of pH. The work is well suited to those with an interest in molecular spectroscopy, non-linear optics and lasers. Some software development for data acquisition/analysis may also be required and there will be opportunities to gain proficiency with commercial quantum chemistry computational platforms such as Gaussian.
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