Science University Research Symposium (SURS)

Publication Date



Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Chemistry and Physics, Department of

SURS Faculty Advisor

Davon Ferrara and Justin Stace

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation


Lanthanide ions, such as terbium(III), exhibit bright luminescence when bound to organic ligands which strongly absorb light. This property has been used in creating chemical sensors or luminescent tags for microscopy. Complexes centered with terbium(III) exhibit a yellow-green luminescence upon excitation by shortwave ultraviolet light. In this work, a bifunctional ligand, 4-mercaptobenzoic acid (4mba), was chosen to selectively coordinate terbium(III) to the oxygens of the acid functional group, leaving the thiol group available for another compound. Thiol groups are effectively used in surface coordination to noble metal nanoparticles (NP). In efforts to create a novel 4mba-terbium(III)-NP system, a one pot synthetic protocol of a 4mba-terbium(III) complex is reported. NMR and FTIR spectra were used to characterize the physical structure of the compound, and UV-visible absorption and emission data were used to analyze the system’s photophysical properties. With a reliable synthesis of this terbium(III) complex and future subsequent surface modification on metal NPs, a novel system can be developed for application as a luminescent probe.



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