Directory Page Title

Christopher J. Abelt

Chancellor Professor

Research Areas: Organic, Spectroscopy
Email: [[cjabel]]
Office: Integrated Science Center 2049
Webpage: {{}}
Office Phone: (757) 221-2677

Areas of Specialization

Physical organic chemistry, organic photochemistry, fluorescence, sensors.


My research focuses on structure as it affects the fluorescence behavior of organic molecules. In particular, we are looking at a class of compounds that undergo charge transfer in the excited state and are sensitive to local polarity.  Some also respond strongly to the presence of local H-bonding.  By systematically varying the molecular architecture of these molecules we hope to  understand their photophysical behavior with the goal of engineering reliable microsensors.

Opportunities for students

Research in my laboratory involves designing and carrying out the synthesis of molecular targets.  Quite often synthesis involves a number of failed pathways before discovering what works.  Once the targets have been created, their behavior will be characterized using optical spectroscopic methods.   Students get to experience the full spectrum of research in chemistry.