Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Lucjan Strekowski

Second Advisor

Gangli Wang

Third Advisor

George Zheng


Heptamethine cyanine dyes are attractive compounds for imaging purposes in biomedical applications because of their chemical and photophysical properties exhibited in the near-infrared region. A series of meso amino-substituted heptamethine cyanine dyes with indolenine, benz[e]indolenine and benz[c,d]indolenine heterocyclic moieties were synthesized and their spectral properties including fluorescence quntum yield were investigated in ethanol and ethanol/water mixture. Upon substitution with amines, the absorption maxima of the dyes shifted to the lower wavelength region (~600 nm), showed larger Stokes shifts and stronger fluorescence which can be attributed to an excited state intramolecular charge transfer (ICT). High quantum yields were observed for primary amine derivatives and lower quantum yields were observed for secondary amine derivatives. Fluorescence quantum yields are greater for dyes with 3H-indolenine terminal moieties than for dyes with benz[e]indolenine end groups. Benz[c,d]indolenine based heptamethine cyanine dyes exhibited the lowest quantum yield due to aggregation in solution. In general, the benz[e]indolenine hepatemethine cyanines showed high Stokes shifts compared to indolenine dyes. For the meso-chloro dyes, the absorption maxima for the dyes shifted bathochromically in the order of indolenine, benz[e]indolenine and benz[c,d]indolenine.

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