Psaras McGrier received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina−Aiken in 2004 and his Ph.D. in Organic/Polymer chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in 2010 under the direction of Professor Uwe Bunz. During his time in Bunz group, Psaras studied the photophysical properties of hydroxy-substituted distyrylbenzenes and cruciform fluorophores (XFs), a class of cross-conjugated materials with spatially separated frontier molecular orbitals. After finishing his Ph.D., he moved to Northwestern University (2010-2013) to join the group of Professor Sir Fraser Stoddart as a postdoctoral scholar on a fellowship from Georgia Tech Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science (FACES) committee and the National Science Foundation (NSF). His research in the Stoddart group focused mostly on the synthesis and design of novel zirconium−based metal-organic frameworks, and the development of donor-acceptor catenanes that can function as molecular switches in water. Psaras joined The Ohio State University Chemistry & Biochemistry Department in August 2013.
Research in the McGrier group focuses on utilizing novel synthetic methods to create functional porous and polymeric materials that can be useful for environmental safety, device applications, and clean energy technologies. Research in the group will rely mostly on organic synthesis with a strong focus on utilizing spectroelectrochemistry, UV-vis, and fluorescence spectroscopy to characterize and understand the photophysical and electronic properties of our materials. These projects will also strongly encourage interdisciplinary interactions with theoretical chemists, physicists, and engineers as we explore the ability to develop solid-state sensors and organic electronic devices.
Luminescent Covalent Organic Frameworks
Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are a class of porous crystalline materials that exhibit high surface areas and extremely low densities making them useful for gas storage, the construction of semiconducting materials, and chemical sensing. We are interested in developing novel luminescent COFs that can simultaneously uptake and detect various greenhouse gases and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are harmful to the environment. Such investigations will include (1) exploring novel synthetic routes to incorporate functionality into these materials to improve their gas uptake selectivity, and (2) examining the ability tune their electronic properties and porosity with the overall goal of creating portable fluorescent solid-state sensors.
Electroluminescent and Electrochromic Conjugated Polymers
The field of conjugated polymers has grown considerably on account of their low-cost of preparation and scalability making them suitable for applications in polymer light emitting diodes (PLEDs) and non-emissive electrochromic devices (ECDs). We are interested in the synthesis and photophysical characterization of novel conjugated polymers, and evaluating their potential to create color tunable emissive and non-emissive PLEDs and ECDs, respectively. Evaluating their ability to develop efficient organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices is also of interest.
Covalent Functionalization of Graphene/Graphene Oxide
Graphene and graphene oxide have emerged as promising materials to help address the need for new sources of clean, renewable energy. Developing novel synthetic routes to covalently functionalize graphene/graphene oxide with various moieties to create novel composite materials with tunable electronic properties is of great interest in our lab. The knowledge gained from studying their electronic properties will aid in helping to create composite materials for energy storage applications.
The McGrier group is currently looking for highly motivated graduate and undergraduate students interested in the synthesis and photophysical characterization of functional organic and polymeric materials. Applications from those interested are welcomed.
Barnes, J. C.; Juricek, M.; Strutt, N. L.; Frasconi, M.; Sampath, S.; Giesener, M. A.; McGrier, P. L.; Bruns, C. J.; Stern, C. L.; Sarjeant, A. A.; Stoddart, J. F. "ExBox: A Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Scavenger" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 183-192. (Cover Page)
Morris, W.; Volosskiy, B.; Demir, S.; Gandara, F.; McGrier, P. L.; Furukawa, H.; Cascio, D.; Stoddart, J. F.; Yaghi, O. M. "Synthesis, Structure, and Metalation of Two New Highly Porous Zirconium Metal-Organic Frameworks" Inorg. Chem. 2012, 51, 6443-6445.
McGrier, P. L.; Solntsev, K. M.; Zucchero, A. J.; Miranda, O. R.; Rotello V. M.; Tolbert, L.; Bunz, U. H. F. "Hydroxydialkylamino Cruciforms: Amphoteric Materials with Unique Photophysical Properties" Chem. Eur. J. 2011, 17, 3112-3119. (Frontispiece)
Zucchero, A. J., McGrier, P. L., Bunz, U. H. F. "Cross-Conjugated Cruciform Fluorophores" Acc. Chem. Res. 2010, 43, 397-408. (Cover page)
Brombosz, S. M.; Zucchero, A. J.; McGrier, P. L.; Bunz, U. H. F. "Acidochromicity of Bisarylethynylbenzenes: Hydroxy versus Dialkylamino Substituents" J. Org. Chem, 2009, 74, 8909-8913. (Featured Article)
Solntsev, K. M.; McGrier, P. L.; Fahrni, C. J.; Tolbert, L. M.; Bunz, U. H. F. "Anomalous Photophysics of Bis(hydroxystyryl)benzenes: A Twist on the Para/Meta Dichotomy" Org. Lett. 2008, 10, 2429-2432.
McGrier, P. L.; Solntsev, K. M.; Miao, S; Tolbert, L. M.; Miranda, O. R.; Rotello V. M.; Bunz, U. H. F. "Hydroxycruciforms: Amine-Responsive Fluorophores" Chem. Eur. J. 2008, 14, 4503-4510. (Cover page)