We conduct both computational and experimental studies on fluorescent dyes and sensors, in collaborations with many renowned scientists in this field.
We use both “bottom-up” and “top-down” approaches to systematically summarizing molecular design rules. In the “bottom-up” approach, we employ quantum chemical calculations and experimental characterizations to understand the molecular origins of a particular dye, before generalizing such knowledge to a wide range of compounds. In the “top-down” approach, we perform “data mining” in chemical databases and search patterns between molecular structures and their properties; subsequently, we validate these patterns using quantum chemical calculations, and thereby generate molecular design rules.
These rational molecular design rules enable us to develop novel fluorescent dyes and sensors with enhanced performance. Deep understanding of the structure-property relationships of fluorophores also permits us to reveal the photophysics and photochemistry of various fluorescent compounds.