Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Sherine O. Obare

Second Advisor

Dr. Donald Schreiber

Third Advisor

Dr. Yirong Mo

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Charles Ide


Pesticides, saccharides, sensor ligands, fluorescence


The dissertation focuses on the design and synthesis of smart materials for the detection of molecules pertinent to environmental protection and healthcare. The use of computational simulations is pivotal toward advancing molecular design for targeted applications. Research was conducted to investigate the use of simulations to develop novel sensors with dual modes of signal transduction. The molecular properties were determined using computational modelling, and then used to elucidate the binding mechanism of the corresponding sensor complexes. Several molecules were produced that respond to important organic analytes, such as glucose and fenthion, an organophosphorus pesticide. Glucose is an exceedingly important biological molecule, necessary for the production of energy in the human body, and its detection is essential for monitoring patients suffering from diabetes. Organophosphorus pesticides are the most commonly used class of pesticides worldwide and many can be acutely toxic to humans. Dual mode sensors were developed for the detection of glucose and fenthion, with both optical and electrochemical signal transductions. These types of real-time sensors were not only selective but were able to minimize false-positives thus enhancing their applicability. The design used can be applied to develop smart sensors for various analytes of interest.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Chemistry Commons