Document Type

Senior Honors Project

Publication Date



For many applications photoluminescence oxygen sensors are superior instruments compared to other commonly used techniques due to their use of a lumiphor’s emitted light intensity dependence on oxygen. Emitted light from a lumiphor in these sensors is quantitatively reduced by oxygen through quenching events caused by collisions of the lumiphor’s excited state with 3O2. The reduction in intensity upon exposure to oxygen is measured to determine ambient oxygen concentrations with great accuracy and precision. Though powerful instruments, photoluminescence oxygen sensors come with some problems including the use of expensive transition metal (Ru and Pt) lumiphors and polymer matrix supports prone to photochemical degradation that leave room for improvement. One possible solution is the use of neat crystalline Copper(I) lumiphors as the sensing material. Our goal is to explore the effects of phosphine ligands (POP=bis[2-(diphenylphosphino)phenyl]ether and Xantphos=4,5-bis(diphenylphosphino)-9,9-dimethlyxanthene) and their sulfide derivatives on the electrochemical and oxygen sensing properties of a series of [Cu(phosphine/phosphine sulfide)(dmp)]BF4 complexes. A variety of techniques were employed for structural analysis, characterization, and evaluation of sensors properties including 31P NMR, mass spectrometry, crystallography, UV-Vis spectroscopy, solid-state emission, and lifetime studies. The best characterized structure, [Cu(POPS)(dmp)]BF4, showed promise as an oxygen sensor with intense emission, significant, reproducible oxygen quenching, stability to air and light, and long lifetimes.