Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Chemistry (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

James M. LoBue


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a method of combating cancerous tumors. PDT works when certain molecules called photosensitizers absorb light and transfer that energy to dissolved oxygen in solution. Next, this singlet oxygen will interfere with nearby molecules that are necessary for cancer cells to function. This research focuses on the kinetics (rates) of the reaction with respect to the photosensitizer, light, and the target molecule. A laser set at 514nm was used in photolysis with the photosensitizer 5,10,15,20-Tetrakis(2,3,5,6-tetrafluorophenyl)porphyrin (TPP). To mimic cancer cells and monitor the effectiveness of the chosen photosensitizer, 9,10-Diphenylanthracene (DPA) was used as the target molecule. In knowing the kinetics of the reaction, practical things like the dosage of the photosensitizer can be better determined for PDT. In this research, consistent data was found that allows for the prediction of the decomposition of DPA when the concentrations of TPP and DPA and the intensity of the laser light are known. Also, using Carbon-13 NMR, the product of the photolysis was analyzed.