The Chemical Structure, Dynamics and Mechanisms Program in the Chemistry Division at the National Science Foundation supports Professor Daniel Falvey of the University of Maryland- College Park, for the development of new molecular systems with controllable photochemical release of one or more functional groups. The goal of the project is to develop donor-acceptor systems that will undergo electron transfer sensitized reactions that release stable molecules such as carboxylic acids. An innovative feature of Professor Falvey's approach is that the molecules will be designed to undergo these reactions after absorbing two photons, so that low energy visible light can be employed. These reactions are important to many fields as they allow for both temporal and spatial control of the movement of molecules.
Broader impacts of the research include the potential for improved control of 3D nanofabrication processes, and for imaging and biomedical applications. Professor Falvey is recognized for his breadth of knowledge across several disciplines (organic synthesis, spectroscopy, kinetics, and computational chemistry), which makes his laboratory effective in tackling difficult research problems. He has been successful in recruiting and mentoring underrepresented groups to his laboratory at the University of Maryland, and he is an advisor to the International Chemistry Olympiad.