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Claudia Turro

Claudia Turro

Claudia Turro

Professor and Chair



4109 Newman & Wolfrom Laboratory
100 W 18th Ave
Columbus, OH 43210

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Areas of Expertise

  • Inorganic


Claudia Turro received her B.S. with Honors in 1987 from Michigan State University. She worked with Daniel G. Nocera and George E. Leroi at Michigan State University and received her Ph.D. in 1992. She was awarded a Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct postdoctoral work at Columbia University with Nicholas J. Turro (no relation) from 1992 to 1995, and has been a faculty member at The Ohio State University since 1996. She received the Early CAREER Award by the National Science Foundation in 1998, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation Young Investigator Award in 1999, was named a 2010 Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS), and a 2012 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  She was elected President of the Inter-American Photochemical Society (2012-14) and Chair of the ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry (2016). She received the 2014 College of Arts and Sciences Susan M. Hartmann Mentoring and Leadership Award, the 2014 Award in Photochemistry from the Inter-American Photochemical Society, the 2016 Edward W. Morley Medal from the Cleveland Section of the ACS, the 2016 Award of the Columbus Section of the ACS, and the 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Harlan Hatcher Distinguished Faculty Award. Since 2016, she has been serving as Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Research Overview

Inorganic Photochemistry, Excited State Processes, Solar Energy Conversion, Photochemotherapy

The Turro group is interested in understanding and utilizing reactions of metal complexes that can be initiated with light. The potential applications of these reactions span the areas of photochemotherapy (PCT) for the treatment various diseases, luminescent reporters and sensors, and solar energy conversion. In order to improve and expand their reactivity, the fundamental understanding of the excited states of mononuclear and dinuclear metal-metal bonded transition metal complexes is necessary and remains an important subject of investigation. The work in the Turro group focuses on the control and dynamics of excited states, including photophysical properties, and reactivity, including energy transfer, charge separation and recombination, and photochemical reactions. Understanding and controlling these processes is vital for numerous applications, including solar energy conversion, photochemotherapy, and sensing. Transition metal complexes that are nontoxic in the dark and become highly toxic upon irradiation with visible or near-IR light are ideal for PCT. Complexes that undergo photo-induced ligand dissociation are under investigation, such that the complex can deliver drugs or inhibitors that selectively target tumors, while simultaneously producing reactive oxygen species to induce cancer cell death. The Turro group has also discovered new materials that are able to both harvest photons from sunlight efficiently over a wide range of energies, from the ultraviolet to the near-IR. They have shown that these complexes are able to act as photosensitizers that transfer charge to catalysts to produce clean fuels.  More recently, these complexes were discovered to act as both the light absorber and the catalyst, generating hydrogen upon irradiation with red and near-IR light with high efficiency. 

Recent PhD Graduates

2015  Bryan Albani;  current position:  Research Scientist, Owens Corning, Danville, OH
“Control of Excited States and Photoinduced Ligand Substitution Reactions in Ru(II) Complexes for Photochemotherapy"

2017  Suzanne Witt; current position:  Postdoctoral Researcher, NIST
"Dirhodium(II,II) Complexes as Electrocatalysts for Sustainable Energy Applications: Tunable Selectivity for H+ or CO2 Reduction"

2017  Regina Akhimie; current position:  Research Scientist, Intel Corporation, Portland, OR
"Investigation of Rh(II,II) Complexes for Applications in Photochemotherapy and Mismatch Detection"

2018  Thomas N. Rohrabaugh, Jr.; current position:  Postdoctoral researcher, Army Research Lab
"The Application of Ru(II) Polypyridyl Photoinduced Ligand Exchange from Drug Delivery to Photoactivation of Fluorescent Dyes"

2018  Tyler J. Whittemore; current position:  Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University
"Mono- and Bimetallic Polypyridyl Systems for Solar Energy Applications: Tuning and Identification of Excited States Through Ultrafast Spectroscopy"

2018  Hannah J. Sayre; current position:  Postdoctoral Researcher, Princeton University
"Dirhodium(II,II) Complexes as Red-Light Absorbing Photosensitizers and as Catalysts for Photocatalytic Proton Reduction"

2018  William T. Kender; current position:  Research Scientist, Honeywell UOP, Chicago, IL
"Controlling Excited State Delocalization via Subtle Changes to Inorganic Molecular Structures"

2019  Lauren Loftus; current position:  Postdoctoral Fellow, Dayton Air Force Base
"Tuning the Excited State and Photoreactivity of Polypyridyl Ru(II) Complexes for Photochemotherapy"

2019  Congcong Xue; current position:  Associate Project Leader, Yet2 Corporation
"The Excited State Properties of Dirhodium(II,II) Complexes:  Application of Solar Energy Conversion"

Recent Selected Publications

1. Knoll, J. D.; Albani, B. A.; Turro, C. “New Ru(II) Complexes for Dual Reactivity: Ligand Exchange and 1O2 Generation” Acc. Chem. Res. 2015, 48, 2280-2287.

2. White, T. A.; Witt, S. E.; Li, Z.; Dunbar, K. R.; Turro, C. “A New Rh2(II,II) Architecture for the Catalytic Reduction of H++Inorg. Chem. 2015, 54, 10042-10048.

3. Loftus, L. M.; White, J. K.; Albani, B. A.; Kodanko, J. J.; Thummel, R. P.; Dunbar, K. R.; Turro, C. "New Ru(II) Complex for Dual Activity: Photoinduced Ligand Release and 1O2 Production", invited paper for special issue dedicated to Women in Chemistry, Chem. Eur.  J., 2016, 22, 3704-3708. 

4. Witt, S. E.; White, T. A.; Li, Z.; Dunbar, K. R.; Turro, C. "Cationic Dirhodium(II,II) Complexes for the Electrocatalytic Reduction of CO2 to HCOOH" Chem. Commun. 2016, 52, 12175-12178.

5. Huisman, M.; White, J. K.; Lewalski, V. G.; Podgorski, I.; Turro, C., Kodanko, J. M. "Caging the Uncageable: Using Metal Complex Release for Photochemical Control over Irreversible Inhibition" Chem. Commun. 2016, 52, 12590-12593.

6. Whittemore, T. J.; Sayre, H. J.; Xue, C.; White, T. A.; Gallucci, J. C.; Turro, C. "New Rh2(II,II) Complexes for Solar Energy Applications: Panchromatic Absorption and Excited State Reactivity" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 14724-14732.

7. Loftus, L. M.; Li, A.; Fillman, K. L.; Martin, P. D.; Kodanko, J. J.; Turro, C. "Unusual Role of Excited State Mixing in the Enhancement of Photoinduced Ligand Exchange in Ru(II) Complexes" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 18295-18306.

8. Whittemore, T. J.; Millet, A.; Sayre, H. J.; Dolinar, B. S.; White, E. G.; Dunbar, K. R.; Turro, C. "Tunable Rh2(II,II) Light Absorbers as Excited State Electron Donors and Acceptors Accessible wiht Red/Near-IR Irradiation" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 5161-5170. (DOI:  10.1021/jacs.8b00599)

9. Al-Afyouni, M. H.; Rohgrabaugh, T. J.; Al-Afyouni, K. F.; Turro, C. "New Ru(II) Photocages Operative with Near-IR Light: New Platform for Drug Delivery in the PDT Window" Chem. Sci. 2018, 9, 6711-6720. (DOI:  10.1039/C8SC02094A)

10. Sayre, H, J.; Millet, A.; Dunbar, K. R.; Turro, C. "Photocatalytic H2 Production by Dirhodium(II,II) Photosensitizers with Red Light" Chem. Commun. 2018, 54, 8332-8334. (DOI:  10.1039/C8CC03631D)

11. Arora, K.; Herroon, M.; Al-Afyouni, M. H.; Toupin, N. P.; Rohrabaugh, T. N.; Loftus, L. M.; Podgorski, I.; Turro, C.; Kodanko, J. J. "Catch and Release Photosensitizers: Combining Dual-Action Ruthenium Complexes with Protease Inactivation for Targeting Invasive Cancers" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 14367-14380. (DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b08853; NSF CHE-1800395)

12. Xue, C.; Sayre, H. J.; Turro, C. "Electron Injection into Titanium Dioxide by Panchromatic Dirhodium Photosensitizers with Low Energy Light" Chem. Commun. 2019, 55, 10428-10431.  (DOI: 10.1039/c9cc04677a; NSF CHE-1800395).

13. Manamperi, H. D.; Witt, S. E.; Turro, C. "Selective Electrocatalytic Conversion of CO2 to HCOOH by a Cationic Rh2(II,II) Complex" ACS Appl. Energy Mat. 2019, 2, 7306-7314 (DOI: 10.1021/acsaem.9b01283; DOE BES DE-SC0020243)

14. Whittemore, Tyler J.; Xue, Congcong; Huang, Jie; Gallucci, Judith C.; Turro, C. "Single-chromophore single-molecule photocatalyst for the production of dihydrogen using low-energy light" Nature Chemistry 2020, 12, 180-185 (DOI:  10.1038/s41557-019-0397-4; DOE BES DE-SC0020243).

15. Loftus, L. M.; Rack, J. J.; Turro, C. "Photoinduced Ligand Dissociation Follows Reverse Energy Gap Law: Nitrile Photodissociation from Low Energy 3MLCT Excited States" Chem. Commun. 2020, 56, 4070-4073 (DOI: 10.1039/C9CC10095D; NSF CHE-1800395).

16. Huang, J.; Gallucci, J. C.; Turro, C. "Panchromatic Dirhodium Photocatalysts for Dihydrogen Generation with Red Light" Chem. Sci. 2020, Ahead of Print. (DOI:  101039/d0sc03114c; DOE BES DE-SC0020243).

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