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Yuming Zhao

Yuming Zhao
Office: C4020
Phone: 709-864-8747
Email (
Post: Department of Chemistry
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL A1B 3X7 CANADA

Our research work mainly focuses on functionalization and characterization of two types of fascinating nanoscale carbon allotropes, namely single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and Buckminster [60] fullerene.

Exhibiting many unprecedented electrical, physical, and mechanical properties, SWNTs have promised many application prospects in future materials science and technology. However, the solubility and compatibility problems have considerably limited the applicability of pristine SWNT. Chemical functionalization on the other hand can dramatically change their properties and behavior, therefore, providing a realistic approach towards extensive, practical uses of SWNTs. Our group is primarily concentrating on: 1) development of efficient, cost-effective functionalization methodologies for SWNTs, and 2) synthesis of various functional oligomer/polymer modified SWNTs composite materials as well as their potential applications in many respects.

C60 fullerene, having a unique 3-dimensional conjugated molecular structure, has displayed appealing photophysical properties and extraordinary electronic characteristics. As an excellent electron acceptor, it has been widely used in numerous artificial photosynthesis systems and organic photovoltaic devices. Our research efforts are directed towards the synthesis of conjugated oligomer bridged C60 and pi-extended tetrathiafulvalene (TTF) polyads. Photophysical characterization regarding charge and energy transfer will be probed by transient absorption spectroscopic techniques. Apart from the in-depth survey on structure-property relationship, one major goal is to achieve long lived and highly efficient photoinduced charge transfer (C-T) species.


  1. L. Wang, Y. Zhao "Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes with Stimuli- Responsive Molecules and Polymers", in Carbon Nanotubes - Current Progress of their Polymer Composites (Chapter 13), Eds. M. R. Berber and I. H. Hafez, Intech, 2016, ISBN 978-953-51-2470-2 (open access).
  2. B. Zhang, Y. Zhao, G. J. Bodwell "Kinetic Stabilization of a Highly Bent Pyrene System", Synlett 2016, 27, DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1562726.
  3. M. Khadem, J. C. Walsh, G. J. Bodwell, Y. Zhao "A Macrocyclization of 1,8-Bis(dithiafulvenyl)pyrenes", Org. Lett. 2016, 18, 2403-2406.
  4. S. Liang, A. V. Subrahmanyam, M. Khadem, Y. Zhao, A. Adronov "Selective dispersion of single-walled carbon nanotubes with electron-rich fluorene-based copolymers", RSC Adv. 2016, 6, 25733-25740.
  5. Y. Wang, Y. Zhao "Dithiafulvenyl-substituted phenylacetylene derivatives: synthesis and structure–property–reactivity relationships", Org. Biomol. Chem. 2015, 13, 9575-9579.
  6. M. Khadem, Y. Zhao "Tetrathiafulvalene vinylogue-fluorene co-oligomers: synthesis, properties, and supramolecular interactions with carbon nanotubes", J. Org. Chem. 2015, 80, 7419-7429.
  7. Y. Wang, Y. Zhao "Carboxylated dithiafulvenes and tetrathiafulvalene vinylogues: synthesis, electronic properties, and complexation with zinc ions", Beilstein J. Org. Chem., 2015, 11, 957–965. (Contribution to a themed issue on Tetrathiafulvalene Chemistry)
  8. E. A. Younes, K.-L. Williams, J. C. Walsh, C. M. Schneider, G. J. Bodwell, Y. Zhao "A TTFV-pyrene-based copolymer: synthesis, redox properties, and aggregation behaviour", RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 23952-23956.
  9. K. Mulla, S. Liang, H. Shaik, E. A. Younes, A. Adronov, Y. Zhao "Dithiafulvenyl-grafted phenylene ethynylene polymers as selective and reversible dispersants for single-walled carbon nanotubes", Chem. Commun., 2015, 51, 149-152.
  10. K. Woolridge, L. C. Goncalves, S. Bouzan, G. Chen, Y. Zhao "Aryl-substituted dithiafulvenes: synthesis, electronic properties, and redox reactivity", Tetrahedron Lett., 2014, 55, 6362-6366.
  11. Y. Li, Y. Zhao, Y. Zhang "Solid tryptophan as a pseudoracemate: physicochemical and crystallographic characterization", Chirality, 2014, in press.
  12. P. E. Georghiou, G. Valluru, C. Schneider,S. Liang, K. Woolridge, K. Mulla, A. Adronov, Y. Zhao, "Dispersion of single-walled carbon nanotubes into aqueous solutions using Poh's cyclotetrachromotropylene (CTCT)", RSC Adv., 2014, 4, 31614-31617.
  13. Y. Zhao, G, Chen "C60 Fullerene Amphiphiles as Supramolecular Building Blocks for Organized and Well-defined Nanoscale Objects", in Fullerens and Other Carbon-Rich Nanostructures, J. F. Nierengarten, Ed., Springer, 2014.
  14. G. Chen, Y. Zhao, "Redox-Regulated Rotary Motion of A Bis(9-triptycyl)-TTFV System", Org. Lett., 2014, 16, 668-671.
  15. S. Liang, Y. Zhao, A. Adronov, "Selective and Reversible Noncovalent Functionalization of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes by a pH-Responsive Vinylogous Tetrathiafulvalene-Fluorene Copolymer", J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136, 970-977.
  16. K. Mulla, Y. Zhao, "TTFV Molecular Tweezers with Phenylboronic Acid Endgroups: Modular Synthesis and Electrochemical Responses to Saccharides and Fluoride Ion", Tetrahedron. Lett., 2014, 55, 382-386.
  17. K. Mulla, H. Shaik, D. W. Thompson, Y. Zhao, "TTFV-Based Molecular Tweezers and Macrocycles as Receptors for Fullerenes", Org. Lett., 2013, 15, 4532-4535.
  18. S. Bouzan, L. N. Dawe, Y. Zhao, "Bromophenyl substituted dithiafulvenes and tetrathiafulvalene vinylogues: synthesis, structure, and electronic properties", Tetrahedron Lett., 2013, 54, 4666-4669.
  19. S. Liang, G. Chen, Y. Zhao, "Conformationally switchable TTFV-phenylacetylene polymers: synthesis, properties, and supramolecular interactions with single-walled carbon nanotubes", J. Mater. Chem. C, 2013, 1, 5477-5490.
  20. K. Mulla, Y. Zhao, "When dithiafulvenyl functionalized pi-conjugated oligomers meet fullerenes and single-walled carbon nanotubes", J. Mater. Chem. C, 2013, 1, 5116-5127.
  21. Y. Zhao, T. Luu, G. M. Bernard, T. Taerum, R. McDonald, R. E. Wasylishen, R. R. Tykwinski, "Synthesis, Characterization, and Solid-State Polymerization of Cross-Conjugated Octatetraynes", Can. J. Chem., 2012, 90, 994-1014.
  22. K. Mulla, Y. Zhao, L. N. Dawe "1,2-Bis{4-[1-(anthracen-9-ylmethyl)-1H-1,2,3-triazol-4-yl]phenyl}-1,2-bis[4,5-bis(methylsulfanyl)-1,3-dithiol-2-ylidene]ethane", Acta Cyst., 2012, E68, o3298-o3299.
  23. Y. Zhao, K. Mulla, P. Dongare, N. Zhou, L. Wang, G. Chen, D. W. Thompson "Development of H-shaped two-dimensional conjugated oligomers as functional chromophores and fluorophores", book chapter in New Developments in Chromophore Research, Eds: A. Moliere and E. Vigneron, Nova Publishers. Publish date: 2013 1st quarter. ISBN: 978-62417-154-3
  24. S. Bouzan, G. Chen, K. Mulla, L. N. Dawe, Y. Zhao "Conformational control of TTFV pi-frameworks through naphthyl substituents", Org. Biomol. Chem., 2012, 10, 7673-7676.
  25. S. Liang, G. Chen, J. Peddle, Y. Zhao"Functionalization of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes with a Redox Active and Acid/Base Responsive TTFV Polymer", ECS Trans., 2012, 41, 35-42.
  26. Y. Zhao, G. Chen, K. Mulla, I. Mahmud, S. Liang, P. Dongare, D. W. Thompson, L. N. Dawe, S. Bouzan"Tetrathiafulvalene Vinylogues as Versatile Building Blocks for New Organic Materials", Pure Appl. Chem., 2012, 84, 1005-1025 (Invited paper based on presentation at 14th ISNA).
  27. K. Mulla, P. Dongare, D. W. Thompson, Y. Zhao "Click Synthesized Dianthryl-TTFV: An Efficient Fluorescent Turn-On Probe for Transition Metal Ions", Org. Biomol. Chem., 2012, 10, 2542-2544.
  28. S. Liang, G. Chen, J. Peddle, Y. Zhao "Reversible dispersion and releasing of single-walled carbon nanotubes by a stimuli-responsive TTFV-phenylacetylene polymer", Chem. Commun., 2012, 48, 3100-3102.
  29. Y. Pourghaz, P. Dongare, D. W. Thompson, Y. Zhao " Click Functionalized Poly(p-phenylene ethynylene)s as Highly Selective and Sensitive Fluorescence Turn-On Chemosensors for Zn2+ and Cd2+ Ions", Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 11014-11016.
  30. G. Venkataramana, P. Dongare, L. N. Dawe, D. W. Thompson, Y. Zhao, G. J. Bodwell " 1,8-Pyrenylene−Ethynylene Macrocycles", Org. Lett., 2011, 13, 2240-2243.
  31. G. Chen, I. Mahmud, L. N. Dawe, D. Lee, Y. Zhao " Synthesis and Properties of Conjugated Oligoyne Centered pi-Extended Tetrathiafulvalene Analogues and Related Macromolecular Systems", J. Org. Chem., 2011, 76, 2701-2715.
  32. K. Mulla, P. Dongare, N. Zhou, G. Chen, D. W. Thompson, Y. Zhao " Highly Sensitive Detection of Saccharides under Physiological Conditions with Click Synthesized Boronic Acid-Oligomer Fluorophores", Org. Biomol. Chem., 2011, 9, 1332-1336.
  33. (Top ten most accessed articles in January, 2011, OBC)
  34. N. Zhou, L. Wang, D. W. Thompson, Y. Zhao " OPE/OPV H-mers: Synthesis, Electronic properties, and Spectroscopic Responses to Binding with Transition Metal Ions", Tetrahedron, 2011, 67, 125-143.
  35. G. Chen, S. Bouzan, Y. Zhao " Synthesis and Properties of TTFV-hinged Molecular Tweezers", Tetrahedron Lett., 2010, 51, 6552-6556.
  36. M. Shao, P. Dongare, L. N. Dawe, D. W. Thompson, Y. Zhao " Biscrown-Annulated TTFAQ-Dianthracene Hybrid: Synthesis, Structure, and Metal Ion Sensing", Org. Lett., 2010, 12, 3050-3053.
  37. M. Shao, Y. Zhao "TTFAQ-Cored D/A Ensembles: Synthesis, Electronic Properties, and Redox Responses to Transition Metal Ions", Tetrahedron Lett., 2010, 51, 2892-2895.
  38. M. Shao, Y. Zhao "Phenylboronic Acid Functionalized TTFAQ: Modular Synthesis and Electrochemical Recognition for Saccharides", Tetrahedron Lett., 2010, 51, 2508-2511.
  39. N. Zhou, Y. Zhao "Conjugated Oligoyne Bridged [60]Fullerene Molecular Dumbbells: Synthesis, Thermal and Morphological Properties", J. Org. Chem., 2010, 75, 1498-1516.
  40. G. Chen, I. Mahmud, L. Dawe, Y. Zhao "Acetylenic Phenyldithiafulvene: A Versatile Synthon for TTFV-Based Macromolecules", Org. Lett., 2010, 12, 704-707.
  41. M. Shao, Y. Zhao "Synthesis and Properties of Thiophene-Functionalized pi-Extended Tetrathiafulvalenes", Tetrahedron Lett., 2009, 50, 6897-6900.
  42. G. Chen, L. Dawe, L. Wang, Y. Zhao "Planar Acetylene-Expanded TTFAQ Analogues", Org. Lett., 2009, 11, 2736-2739.
  43. I. Mahmud, N. Zhou, L. Wang, Y. Zhao "Triazole-Linked Dendro[60]fullerenes: Modular Synthesis via a 'Click' Reaction and Acidity-Dependent Self-Assembly on the Surface", Tetrahedron, 2008, 64, 11420-11432.
  44. N. Zhou, L. Wang, D. W. Thompson, Y. Zhao "H-Shaped OPE/OPV Oligomers: A New Member of 2D Conjugated Fluorophore Cores", Org. Lett., 2008, 10, 3001-3004.
  45. R. R. Tykwinski, M. Gholami, S. Eisler, Y. Zhao, F. Melin, L. Echegoyen, "Expanded radialenes: Modular synthesis and properties of cross-conjugated enyne macrocycles", Pure Appl. Chem., 2008, 80, 623-639.
  46. G. Chen, L. Wang, D. W. Thompson, Y. Zhao, "Highly pi-Extended TTF Analogues with a Conjugated Macrocyclic Enyne Core", Org. Lett., 2008, 10, 657-660.
  47. A. Spantulescu, T. Luu, Y. Zhao, R. McDonald, R. R. Tykwinski, "Synthesis and Characterization of Cyclic Alkyl Tetraynes", Org. Lett., 2008, 10, 609-612.
  48. M. Shao, G. Chen, Y. Zhao, "Synthesis and Electronic Properties of a Conjugated TTFAQ Trimer and Donor-Acceptor Ensembles of TTFAQ and Anthraquinone", SYNLETT, 2008, 371-376.
  49. G. Chen, M. Shao, L. Wang, Y. Zhao, "Donor-Acceptor Effects on Anthraquinoid-Type pi-Extended Tetrathiafulvalenes through 2,6-Diethynyl Bridges", Asian Chem. Lett., 2007, 11, 185-196. (Invited article to a special issue on tetrathiafulvalene and acetylene chemistry)
  50. N. Zhou, L. Wang, M. Tobin, D.W. Thompson, Y. Zhao, "Studies on Dumbbell-Shaped Bisfullerene and Conjugated Oligomer Hybrids", in Fullerene Research Advances, Novapublishers, 2007 (publish date: 2007-4th quarter, ISBN: 1-60021-824-5)
  51. Y. Zhao, N. Zhou, A.D. Slepkov, S.C. Ciulei, R. McDonald, F.A. Hegmann, R.R. Tykwinski, "Donor/Acceptor Effects on Linear and Nonlinear Optical Properties of Geminal-Diethynylethenes (g-DEEs)", Helv. Chim. Acta 2007, 90, 909-927.
  52. N. Zhou, L. Wang, D. W. Thompson, Y. Zhao, "Synthesis, electronic and photophysical properties of cruciform OPE/OPV hybrid oligomer bridged bisfullerene triads", Tetrahedron Lett. 2007, 48, 3563-3567.
  53. N. Rice, K. Soper, N. Zhou, E. Mershrod, Y. Zhao, "Dispersing As-Prepared Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Powders with Linear Conjugated Polymers", Chem. Commun. 2006, 4937-4939.
  54. G. Chen, Y. Zhao, "Synthesis and Electronic Properties of Alkyne-TTFAQ Based Molecular Wires", Tetrahedron Lett. 2006, 47, 5069-5073.
  55. Y. Shirai, A. J. Osgood, Y. Zhao, Y. Yao, L. Saudan, H. Yang, Y.-H. Chiu, L. B. Alemany, T. Sasaki, J.-F. Morin, J. M. Guerrero, K. F. Kelly, J. M. Tour, " Surface-Rolling Molecules", J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2006, 128, 4854-4864.
  56. Y. Shirai, A.J. Osgood, Y. Zhao, K.F. Kelly, J.M. Tour, "Directional Control in Thermally Driven Single-Molelcule Nanocars", Nano Lett., 2005, 11, 2330-2334.
  57. N. Zhou, E. Mershrod, Y. Zhao, "Preparation of Fullerene-Polyyne Nanospheres via Thermally-Induced Solid-State Polymerizations", J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2005, 127, 14154-14155.
  58. J. Cho, Y. Zhao, R. R. Tykwinski, "Synthesis and Characterization of Cross-Conjugated Oligo(phenylene enynylene)s", Arkivoc, 2005, iv, 142-150.
  59. Y. Zhao, Y. Shirai, A. D. Slepkov, L. Cheng, L. B. Alemany, T. Sasaki, F.A. Hegmann, J. M. Tour, “ Synthesis, Spectroscopic and Nonlinear Optical Properties of Multiple [60]Fullerene-Oligo( p -Phenylene Ethynylene) Hybrids ”, Chem. Eur. J., 2005, 11, 3643-3658.
  60. Y. Zhao, A.D. Slepkov, O.A. Clement, R. McDonald, F.A. Hegmann, R.R. Tykwinski, “Synthesis, Structures, and Nonlinear Optical Properties of Cross-Conjugated Perphenylated iso-Polydiacetylenes”, Chem. Eur. J., 2005, 11, 321-329.
  61. Y. Shirai, Y. Zhao, L. Cheng, J.M. Tour, “Facile Synthesis of Multifullerene-OPE Hybrids via in situ Ethynylation”, Org. Lett. 2004, 13, 2129-2132.
  62. A.D. Slepkov, F.A. Hegmann, K. Kamada, Y. Zhao, R.R. Tykwinski, “Optical Properties of Cross-Conjugated iso-Polydiacetylene Oligomers as Measured by UV-Vis Spectroscopy and Optical Kerr Effect”, J. Opt. A, Pure Appl. Opt. 2002, 4, S207-S211.
  63. R.R. Tykwinski, Y. Zhao, “Cross-Conjugated Oligo(enyne)s”, Synlett 2002, (12), 1939-1953 (invited account).
  64. Y. Zhao, R. McDonald, R.R. Tykwinski, “Study of Cross-Conjugated iso-Polytriacetylenes and Related Oligoenynes”, J. Org. Chem. 2002, 67, 2805-2812.
  65. A.D. Slepkov, F.A. Hegmann, Y. Zhao, R.R. Tykwinski, K. Kamada, “Ultrafast Optical Kerr Effect Measurement of Third-Order Nonlinearities in Cross-Conjugated iso-Polydiacetylene Oligomers”, J. Chem. Phys. 2002, 116, 3834-3840.
  66. Y. Zhao, K. Campbell, R.R. Tykwinski, “Iterative Synthesis and Characterization of Cross-Conjugated iso-Polydiacetylenes”, J. Org. Chem. 2002, 67, 336-344.
  67. Y. Zhao, S.C. Ciulei, R.R. Tykwinski, “The Effect of π-Acceptor and π-Donor Substitution in Cross-Conjugated Enynes”, Tetrahedron Lett. 2001, 42, 7721-7723.
  68. Y. Zhao, R. McDonald, R.R. Tykwinski, “Synthesis and Characterization of Cross-Conjugated Polyenynes”, Chem. Commun. 2000, 77-78.
  69. Y. Zhao, R.R. Tykwinski, “Iterative Synthesis and Properties of Cross-Conjugated iso-Polydiacetylene Oligomers”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1999, 121, 458-459.