Project Overview

Syntheses of Pophyrinoids with Altered Core Structures

Faculty Sponsor

Rick Geier (




Porphyrinoids are well known for their biological functions (e.g., light harvesting, small molecule binding, electron transport, and catalysis as exemplified by heme, chlorophylls, and vitamin B12), and for their attractiveness in a host of  fundamental investigations (e.g., aromaticity, metal ion coordination, excited state energy transfer) and applied studies (e.g., molecular memory devices, dye sensitized solar cells, photodynamic cancer therapy). My research group’s primary efforts are directed towards the investigation of methods for the preparation of porphyrinoids that structurally differ from the prototypical tetrapyrrolic structure of porphyrin. Such macrocycles display properties that are complementary to those of porphyrin. Additionally, we seek to develop analytical methods for monitoring reactions to facilitate systematic studies of reaction conditions. Objectives of our work include developing methods for quantifying porphyrin yield from analytical-scale reactions, and then using these methods to investigate the interplay of reaction conditions to discover efficient, scalable reaction conditions. Students in the group gain experience in organic synthesis and in analytical chemistry that can be applied towards a wide-range of future educational and career goals. Further information on the Geier research group as well as a list of publications may be found at: Interested students should make an appointment with Prof. Geier to discuss the specific projects planned for this summer prior to submitting an application.

Student Qualifications

Generally, students should have completed CHEM 263/264 prior to the start of the summer. However, highly motivated students who have done well in CHEM 111 or CHEM 101/102, and who will be taking CHEM 263/264 in 2024-2025 will also be considered.

Number of Student Researchers

2 students

Project Length

8 weeks

Applications open on 10/03/2023 and close on 02/28/2024

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (