Liao, Yi

Associate Professor

Educational Background

Ph.D. Organic Chemistry,UniversityofMassachusetts,Amherst, 2001

B.S. in Chemistry, Nankai University, Tianjin, China, 1995

Current Courses

CHM 1101 General Chemistry 1

CHM 5550 Polymer Chemistry

Professional Experience

2013-Present Associate Professor, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne FL.

2006-2013 Assistant Professor, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL.

2002-2006 Postdoc University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

2001-2002 Postdoc UniversityofUtah, Salt Lake City, UT.

1999 Research Associate at Targacept company, Winston Salem, NC.

Current Research

Current research focuses on photo-control of proton transfer processes using the metastable-state photoacid, which was discovered by our group. Metastable-state photoacid can reversibly produce a large proton concentration (pH change) under visible-light with moderate intensity. This type of photoacid can be generally designed by coupling a reversible photoreaction with a proton dissociation process. We design and synthesize different types of metastable-state photoacids and the materials containing them, study the mechanisms of their photoreactions, and demonstrate their applications. Given that proton transfer is one of the most fundamental processes in nature and most of proton transfer processes are driven by a high concentration of proton, metastable-state photoacids can be applied to different areas for remote, temporal and spatial control of many processes. The potential of metastable-state photoacids in controlling acid-catalyzed reactions, volume-change of hydrogels, polymer conductivity, bacterial killing, odorant release, color change, and polymer phase change have been demonstrated recently by our group. Other groups have also used this type of photoacid to control supramolecular assembly, microbial fuel cell, molecular switch, cationic sensor, just to name a few.

Our group also conducts research on photochemical systems that are related to Photo-retro-Diels-Alder (PrDA) reaction. PrDA reaction may be applied to controllably release biologically or chemically active species, or convert non-conjugated structures to conjugated structures. One example is a novel type of organic Photo-CORM (Carbon Monoxide Releasing Material) developed by our group. Carbon monoxide plays profound roles in regulating cell functions, and the beneficial properties of CO have been confirmed in the models in vitro and in vivo. Due to the inherent toxic nature of CO, it is critical to control the dose and site of CO release. The CORMs we developed release CO under visible light, and simultaneously produce a fluorophore which allows the delivery of CO to be monitored. Unlike previously developed CORMs that are metal carbonyls or organic boron compound, these CORMs are pure organic compounds, which promise low toxicity.

Conducting polymer is another research area of our group. We synthesize conjugated polymers and study their conducting, semiconducting and optic properties. These conducting polymers have potential applications in flexible electronics and sensors. Polyaniline is a promising organic conducting polymer that is easy to synthesize and stable in air. We are working on Polyaniline composites that alter their conductivity reversibly and irreversibly upon irradiation. We are also working on modification of polyaniline structure for different applications.



Selected Publications

1. Abeyrathna, Nawodi; Liao, Yi, A Reversible Photoacid Functioning in PBS Buffer under Visible Light, J. Am. Chem. Soc. In Press, DOI 10.1021/jacs.5b06218

2. Chen, Hongbin, Liao, Yi, Photochromism based on reversible proton transfer, J. Photochem. Photobio., A: (2015), 300, 22-26.

3. Wang, Zhuozhi; Johns, Valentine K.; Liao, Yi, Controlled Release of Fragrant Molecules with Visible Light. Chem. Eur. J. (2014), 20(45), 14637-14640.

4. Johns, Valentine K.; Peng, Ping; DeJesus, Joseph; Wang, Zhuozhi; Liao, Yi Visible-Light-Responsive Reversible Photoacid Based on a Metastable Carbanion, Chem. Eur. J. (2014), 20(3), 689-692.

5. Johns, Valentine K.; Wang, Zhuozhi; Li, Xinxue; Liao, Yi, Physicochemical Study of a Metastable-State Photoacid, J. Phys. Chem. A. (2013), 117(49), 13101-13104.

6. Peng, Ping; Wang, Chaoming; Shi, Zheng; Johns, Valentine K.; Ma, Liyuan; Oyer, Jeremiah; Copik, Alicja; Igarashi, Robert; Liao, Yi, Visible-light activatable organic CO-releasing molecules (PhotoCORMs) that simultaneously generate fluorophores. Org. Biomol. Chem. (2013) 11, 6671-6674.

7. Alber, Candace; Shi, Zheng; Johns, Valentine; Lafave, Sarah; Liao Yi, Photo-induced Protonation and Conductivity of Polyaniline/Poly(ethylene glycol) and Polyaniline/[Poly(ethylene glycol)-grafted Polyaniline] Composites. J. Appl. Poly. Sci. (2013) 129, 3546–3550.

8. Shi, Zheng; Peng, Ping; Strohecker, Daniel; Liao, Yi, A long-lived photoacid based upon a photochromic reaction. J Am. Chem. Soc. (2011) 133(37), 14699–14703.

9. Peng, Ping; Strohecker, Daniel; Liao, Yi, Negative photochromism of a TCF chromophore. Chem. Commun., (2011) 47, 8575–8577.

10. Johns, Valentine K.; Shi, Zheng; Dang, Wei; McInnis, Matthew D.; Weng, Yuxiang; Liao, Yi. Photo retro-Diels-Alder reactions. J Phys. Chem. A. (2011), 115(28), 8093–8099.