BGSU lab works to harness power of light

Sivaguru Awarded NSF Grant

Dr. Jayaraman Sivaguru receives $450,000 NSF grant to investigate projects using light as a reagent

A photochemical sciences research lab at Bowling Green State University has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to harness the power of light to develop sustainable strategies for carrying out new chemical transformations.

Dr. Jayaraman Sivaguru (Siva), the Antonia and Marshall Wilson Professor of Chemistry and associate director for the Center for Photochemical Sciences, has received a three-year, $450,000 NSF award to conduct research outlined in his proposal titled “Enforcing Excited Reactivity by Altering Chromophore Characteristics."

The funding will have an impact on student training, with particular emphasis on concepts related to photochemistry and photophysics for complex molecular structures in an energy-efficient fashion.

Sivaguru’s research interests span the areas of both basic and applied photochemistry involving light-driven transformation in molecules and materials.

Currently, his research program is investigating a series of interrelated projects all of which use light as a reagent. Some of the ongoing research of projects include developing new photochemical transformations by uncovering new excited state reactivity, excited state asymmetric transformations, atropselective transformations, organo-photcatalysis, biomimetic supramolecular photocatalysis with water-soluble nano-containers, light-responsive materials derived from biomass, light-responsive coatings and visible light photo-initiators.

“Uncovering new ways to employ light in an energy efficient way to access complex molecules will help us long term to develop green and eco-friendly processes,” Sivaguru said. “Pursuing research that seeks answers to fundamental questions related to the delicate balance that exists between reactivity, selectivity, dynamics and lifetimes of molecular excited state(s) and/or short-lived intermediates is critical to building processes that are more sustainable.”

The NSF award is a renewal grant for Sivaguru, who has been continuously funded by NSF since 2007 when he received his NSF CAREER award.

For more info regarding Sivaguru’s research, teaching and outreach, visit

Updated: 08/19/2020 11:33AM