Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Ekkehard Sinn

Second Advisor

Dr. John Miller

Third Advisor

Dr. Yirong Mo

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Muralidhar Ghantasala


The central hypothesis of this research is the development of novel nanosensors by a bottom-up approach for the detection of nerve gas agents. The nanosensor assembly consists of four main parts; nanoparticles (N), Monomer (M), Complex (C) and Receptor (R). Two novel Ru (II)-bipyridyl and zinc complexes with tryptophan receptors either in 4,4' or 5,5' position of the bipyridyl ring have been synthesized and characterized by using 1H NMR, 13C NMR, mass spectrometry and absorption spectroscopy. Silica nanoparticles or quantum dots are used as a platform for the nanosensors. Highly conjugated stilbene type compounds are used as monomers. The complete sensor was constructed by anchoring the monomer to the nanoparticles then attachment of a metal complex. We have synthesized five nanosensors by changing four main components. The interaction of the nerve gas analogs diethyl chlorophosphate (DCP), dimethyl methyl phosphonate (DMMP) and hydrolyzed product hydrochloric acid (HC1) with these sensor systems were evaluated by using absorption and emission spectroscopy and the results were analyzed by using association constants between nerve gas analogs and nanosensors. Sensor 3, zinc complex bearing two 4,4'-Bpy Tyrptophan moieties showed better sensitivity towards the nerve gas analog DCP.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Chemistry Commons