Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access

Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

Ryan Walvoord


Fluorescent probes are used in chemical, biological, and environmental studies as a means of detecting the presence of a desired target molecule. These probes, when reacted with their target molecule, “turn on” and emit light when excited with energy. The emitted light can be detected and provides a positive indicator for the presence of the target. These fluorophores are extremely useful because they can be fine-tuned to be highly sensitive and selective toward their target. Additionally, these probes are more time and cost efficient than alternative molecular detection methods. However, there is a lack of understanding between how the change in the fluorescent probe’s structure, which is caused by the target analyte, affects its luminescent properties. A nitrogen-based heteroatom series on a coumarin scaffold fluorescent molecule will be synthesized in an attempt to link computational analyses of energy states to the fluorescent output of these probes. By synthesizing and measuring the fluorescent output of these probes, thereby generating a library of data, the hope is to be able to guide the scientific community with a rational approach to designing fluorescent probes of this nature in the future.


Presented as part of the Ursinus College Celebration of Student Achievement (CoSA) held April 23 – April 30, 2020.

The downloadable file is a PowerPoint slide presentation with recorded audio commentary.


Available to Ursinus community only.