Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Taking advantage of surfaces' response to interfacial dipoles, a class of photochromophores (dihydroindolizine) is demonstrated to alter the work function of the underlying substrate (170 meV). This same molecule also provides spectroscopic signatures for correlating the change in molecular structure to the induced change in the surfaces' electronic properties. Polarization modulation infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (PM-IRRAS) allows analysis of the characteristic dihydroindolizine C=C (1559 cm-1) and pyridinium (1643 cm-1) stretch as a function of photoexcitation. Structural assignments of this photochromophore are corroborated to density function theory calculations. Conformational changes in the monolayers appear in parallel with work function changes and are consistent with both its rate and magnitude. Furthermore, an investigation involving the control of the constitutional isomer formation of asymmetric dihydroindolizines was found to be related to the stability of the zwitterion before the electrocyclization to the spiro species.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.