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Photo of Ayitou, Jean-Luc

Jean-Luc Ayitou

Assistant Professor




5417-B SES

Office Phone:

(312) 413-1377

Related Sites:

About Heading link

Research in the Ayitou Lab seeks to bridge knowledge gaps in photo-energy materials, photo-energy conversion/management, and photo-therapeutics. Fundamentally, our research elucidates the structure-photophysics relationship in novel organic light-harvesting systems.

The Ayitou group studies non-classical aromatic triplet chromophores.

Our lab uses advanced spectroscopy tools to investigate energy/exciton transfer in organic solid or organic-semiconductor materials. Photo-excitation of this class of novel (hybrid) materials, developed in our lab, would create excitons that can be exploited for various applications, viz., photo/energy conversion, catalysis, and photo-therapeutics.

Research Interest & Application 1

The Ayitou group studies non-classical aromatic triplet chromophores.

We design and synthesize novel heavy-atom-free organic chromophores by tuning their molecular aromaticity and spin state(s). These chromophores are utilized for light-initiated processes viz., energy transfer, sensitization, photo-medicinal applications, energy upconversion, etc.

Research Interest & Application 2

The Ayitou group studies non-classical aromatic triplet chromophores.

We are exploiting novel Photosensitizers (PS) (functionalized with other bio-active/pro-drug molecules) for synergistic photodynamic therapy and drug delivery applications. The synthesis and photochemical/photophysical investigations are carried out in our lab…and our collaborators perform the bio-assay investigations.

Outreach and Science-Community Advocate

Spectroscopy Bootcamp for Grade Students (SPEK12): SPEK12 Spectroscopy Bootcamp is a week-long outreach program that stimulates the curiosity of middle and high school students. The camp is free to participate in. Students can use state-of-the-art spectroscopy instruments to probe various light-induced processes encountered in many areas/fields (healthcare, space science, environment, forensics, law enforcement, etc.). This camp runs every summer on-site or online!

Schools/Students interested in this program must contact Dr. Ayitou @ UIC (for more information).

NOBCChE Chapter at UIC: Dr. Ayitou is the faculty advisor for the UIC Chapter of NOBCChE. This student organization aims to provide resources to students of color majoring in chemistry, chemical engineering, and related fields. This organization will host several campus and community events to promote chemical sciences and encourage underrepresented students to embrace STEM disciplines/research.

Anyone seeking to get involved can send an inquiry to Dr. Ayitou @ UIC

Selected Publications

1) Young Ju Yun,Gary P. Wiederrecht, David J. Gosztola, Benjamin T. Diroll, and  Jean-Luc Ayitou*, Triplet Photodynamic and Luminescence Upconversion in Donor-Acceptor Dyads with Slip-stacked vs. Co-facial Arrangement, J. Mat. Chem. C 202210, 7093, DOI: 10.1039/D1TC05122A,2) Young Ju Yun, Manoj K. Manna, Nareshbabu Kamatham, Barry Pemberton, Gary P. Wiederrecht, David J. Gosztola, Gonzalo Jiménez-Osés, and A. Jean-Luc Ayitou*, Synthesis, and Photophysics of Triplet Donor-Acceptor Dyads: ortho– vs. para–Phenyl Positional Effect on Intramolecular Triplet Energy Flow, J. Photochem. Photobio. A 202210, 100112, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpap.2022.100112,3) Samjhana Maharjan, Young Ju Yun, Veronica A. Okello, Gary P. Wiederrecht, David J. Gosztola, and Jean-Luc Ayitou*, Photometric Sensing of Heavy Metal Pollutants using a Naphthoquino-bis-thioamide Dye: Photophysics of the Metal Organic Complexes, J. Photochem. Photobio. A 2022, 424, 113648, DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2021.113648,4) Young Ju Yun, Jussi Isokuortti, Timo Laaksonen, Nikita Durandin and Jean-Luc Ayitou*, Triplet-triplet Annihilation Photon-Upconversion in Hydrophilic Media with Biorelevant Cholesteryl Triplet Energy Acceptors, J. Photochem. Photobio. A 2021, DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2021.113412,5) Jayla Morgan, Young Ju Yun and Jean-Luc Ayitou*, Estimation of Singlet Oxygen Quantum Yield Using Novel Green-Absorbing Baird-type Aromatic Photosensitizers, J. Photochem. Photobio. 2021, DOI: 10.1111/php.13483,6) Young Ju Yun, Nareshbabu Kamatham, Manoj K. Manna, Jingbai Li, Gary P. Wiederrecht, David J. Gosztola, Andrey Yu. Rogachev, and Jean-Luc Ayitou*, Interplay Between Energy & Charge Transfers in a Polyaromatic Triplet Donor–Acceptor Dyad, J. Phys. Chem. C 2020, 12205–12216. (link),7) Nareshbabu Kamatham, Jingbai Li, Siamak Shokri, Guang Yang, Andrey Yu. Rogachev and A. Jean-Luc Ayitou*, Quinoidization of Polyacene Diimides: Photophysics, Aromaticity, and Stability of the Novel Quinoidal Acenes, Eur. J. Org. Chem., 2020, 917–922. (link) (Cover Page),8) M. K. Manna, S. Shokri, G. P. Wiederrecht, D. J. Gosztola and A. J.-L. Ayitou*, New Perspectives for Triplet-Triplet Annihilation Photo Upconversion Using All-Organic Donors and Acceptors Chromophores; Chem. Commun.201854, 5809–5818. (link),9) S. Shokri, J. Li, G. P. Wiederrecht, D. J. Gosztola, A. Ugrinov, S. Jockush, A. Yu Rogachev and A. J.-L. Ayitou*, A Naphtho-p-quinodimethane Exhibiting Baird’s Anti-Aromaticity, Broken Symmetry and Attractive Photoluminescence. J. Org. Chem., 2017, 82, 10167–10173. (link),10) S. Shokri, G. P. Wiederrecht, D. J. Gosztola and A. J.-L. Ayitou*, Photon Upconversion Using Baird-Type Anti-Aromatic Quinoidal Naphthalene Derivative as a Sensitizer, J. Phys. Chem. C, 2017, 121, 23377–23382. (link)


• B.S., North Dakota State University (advisor: Sivaguru Jayaraman), 2008
• Ph.D., North Dakota State University (advisor: Sivaguru Jayaraman), 2013
• Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California Los Angeles (advisors: Miguel Garcia-Garibay), 20013-2016.