Mechanisms of UV degradation
Advisors: Dapeng Li, Paul Calvert
UV radiation, whether from solar or other sources, can have enough energy to oxidize or change the nature of many organic molecules upon absorption. Many natural dyes, such as those found in fruits, are found to be fairly stable under UV radiation and resist degradation while incorporated in its natural system. However, when these molecules are separated from their natural system and exposed to the same UV radiation they are found to be far less stable.
This research aims aid in understanding of photostability by analyzing the mechanisms of methylene blue photodegradation and the protective effects of p¬-benzoquinone when incorporated into an amine/PEGDGA based hydroge. The effect that pH, matrix architecture and length scale has on the interactions between the components of the system is also examined. An understanding the mechanisms of UV degradation and stability is potentially applicable to further studies involving sensing, energy harvesting, decontamination, and UV protective systems form macro to micro scales.