Chemistry and Biochemistry

Katsu Ogawa

Assistant Professor
(818) 677-4239
Office location:
Eucalyptus 2305



B.S., Minnesota State University, Mankato, 2000
Ph.D., North Dakota State University, 2005


University of Florida, 2005-2009


Chemistry 411, Synthesis
Chemistry 433, Organic Analysis


Organic/Organometallic Materials Chemistry
Two major research areas of Ogawa group are 1) design and development of highly ordered 2-dimensional conjugated polymer matrixes for photovoltaic and electroluminescent devices and 2) development of fluorescent chemo-sensing materials for biologically active small molecules and ions.

Two Dimensional Conjugated Polymer Matrixes:
Dr. Ogawa is interested in controlling morphologies of 2-dimensional conjugated polymer sheets by taking advantage of two orthogonal polymerization methods: transition metal catalyzed chemical polymerization and electrochemical oxidative polymerization. A solution processable 1-dimensional polymer can be obtained by chemical polymerization. Then it can be spin coated onto an electrode followed by oxidative polymerization to achieve the final product. One goal is to control the morphology via self assembly of the 1-D polymer. Another goal is to control the photophysical/electrochemical properties of the 2-D polymers.

Chemo-sensing Materials:
Another major interest for Dr. Ogawa is design and development of fluorometric or colorimetric sensors for biologically important species, such as metal ions and endocrine disrupting chemicals. Sensors consist of two major parts: receptor and reporter. Receptors bind to analytes, which causes conformational changes or alteration of electronic environment of lumophore/chromophore (reporter). Such changes result in variation of optical signals. The research involves optimization of both receptor and reporter moieties.

Multidisciplinary nature of the research in Ogawa group requires a wide variety of techniques. Students are involved in organic/organometallic syntheses, photophysical measurements, and electrochemical analyses/syntheses.

For more detailed descriptions of the projects and instrumentations, please see Ogawa Research Group Web Page


  1. “Synthesis and Electronic Properties of Oxidized Benzo[1,​2-​b:4,​5-​b']​dithiophenes” Pappenfus, T.M.; Seidenkranz, D.T.; Lovander, M.D.; Beck, T.L.; Karels, B.J.; Ogawa, K.; Janzen, D.E. Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2014, 79, 9408-9412.
  2. “Solution and solid-state properties of highly fluorescent dithieno[3,2-b:2',3'-d]pyrrole-based oligothiophenes” Mo, H.; Radke, K.R.; Ogawa, K.; Heth, C.L.; Erpelding, B.T.; Rasmussen, S.C. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2010, 12, 14585-14595.
  3. "Low-Band-Gap Platinum Acetylide Polymers as Active Materials for Organic Solar Cells" Mei, J.; Ogawa, K.; Kim, Y.-G.; Heston, N. C.; Arenas, D. J.; Nasrollahi, Z.; McCarley, T. D.; Tanner, D. B.; Reynolds, J. R. and Schanze, K. S., ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2009) 1, 150-161. 
  4. "Synthetic approaches to band gap control in conjugated polymeric materials" Rasmussen, S. C.; Ogawa, K. and Rothstein, S. D. in Handbook of Organic Electronics and Photonics, ed. Nalwa, H. S.; American Scientific Publishers, Stevenson Ranch, CA, 2008, Chapter 1, pp. 1-50. 
  5. "Polyelectrolyte-based fluorescent sensors" Ogawa, K.; Achyuthan, K. E.; Chemburu, S.; Ji, E.; Liu, Y.; Lopez, G. P.; Schanze, K. S. and Whitten, D. G. in Organic Semiconductors in Sensor Applications, eds. Bernards, D. A.; Owens, R. M. and Malliaras, G. G.; Springer, New York, 2008, Chapter 2, pp. 39-60. 
  6. "Conjugated polyelectrolyte based real-time fluorescence assay for phospholipase C" Liu, Y.; Ogawa, K. and Schanze, K. S., Analytical Chemistry (2008) 80, 150-158. 
  7. "Conjugated polyelectrolyte-grafted silica microspheres" Ogawa, K.; Chemburu, S.; Lopez, G. P.; Whitten, D. G. and Schanze, K. S., Langmuir (2007) 23, 4541-4548. 
  8. "N-functionalized poly(dithieno[3,2-b : 2 ',3 '-d]pyrrole)s: Highly fluorescent materials with reduced band gaps" Ogawa, K. and Rasmussen, S. C., Macromolecules (2006) 39, 1771-1778. 
  9. "Highly fluorescent oligothiophenes through the incorporation of central dithieno[3,2-b:2',3'-d]pyrrole units" Radke, K. R.; Ogawa, K. and Rasmussen, S. C., Organic Letters (2005) 7, 5253-5256. 
  10. "A simple and efficient route to N-functionalized dithieno[3,2-b:2',3'-d]pyrroles: Fused-ring building blocks for new conjugated polymeric systems" Ogawa, K. and Rasmussen, S. C., Journal of Organic Chemistry (2003) 68, 2921-2928.