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Yuzhuo Li

In this Section
Li Yuzhuo Li
Professor
Chemistry & Biomolecular Science
373 CAMP
Clarkson University
PO Box 5810
Potsdam, NY 13699-5810
Phone: 315-268-4407
E-mail: yuzhuoli@clarkson.edu
Research Web site

Education
Ph.D. 1988. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Organic
B.S. 1982. Nankai University, Tianjin, China - Polymer

Research Interests
Photoinduced redox reactions on semiconductor particles have been extensively investigated for their applications in waste treatment and solar energy conversion. The study of their potentials in organic synthesis, however, was limited. With the funding from NSF, PRF, and CAMP, we have systematically investigated some synthetically useful chemical transformations on semiconductor particles. The research has yielded not only an understanding of the mechanistic aspects of these chemical transformations but also some useful supporting techniques, such as a new dosimeter for quantum yield measurements and a new synthetic-scale photochemical flow reactor. Our long term objective is to further develop these and more new chemical transformations as a source of for the environmentally benign alternatives. These new chemical processes may be used to replace their corresponding conventional processes in industry in order to reduce pollution at its source. The applications of our research results in other areas include waste degradations, evaluation of sunscreen products, and the monitoring of UV- and g-radiations.

For inorganic materials synthesis, a new method has been developed to coat metals such as Pd, Ag, and Au onto fine particles such as BaTiO3, TiO2, SiO2 and Al2O3. Unlike the conventional electrochemical plating method, the photo-assisted process eliminates the use of toxic or problematic chemical or electrochemical reducing agents to achieve co-deposition of metal ions with different reduction potentials. The coated particles are of interests of electronic components, catalysts, and conducting adhesives.

There are only a limited number of water-soluble polymerization initiators available for water-based polymerization. With the increasing demand of water-based polymerization for various environmental reasons, the need for water soluble organic peroxides with various reactivities has also risen. We have synthesized and investigated the first group of water soluble dialkyl peroxides and peroxyesters. These surface active peroxides are designed to be water soluble initiators at a desired interface. Currently, these compounds are used in the preparation of higher molecular weight and more uniformly dispersed polymer particles and polymerized surfactant vesicles. The polymerized vesicles will be used as reaction media for controlling reaction rates or the uniformity of inorganic particles, and as membrane analogs for ultrafiltration, reversed osmosis, and controlled drug delivery.

Benzoyl peroxide has long been used in the topical treatment of acne vulgaris. However, the stability and solubility problems associated with benzoyl peroxides actually limit its efficacy. Newly synthesized water soluble peroxides have overcome the stability problem and were found to be more effective against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria with a prolonged activity as compared to benzoyl peroxide. We have shown that the oxidizing properties of dioxy group of these peroxides are responsible for their antibacterial activity.