Jeffrey T. Petty Faculty and Staff Chemistry Furman University

Dr. Jeffrey Petty is interested in the interface of physical chemistry, biochemistry, and inorganic chemistry. He trained with Brad Moore in the spectroscopy of atmospherically significant free radicals. He then continued his studies with Dick Keller in the area of ultrasensitive, laser-based biomolecular detection. Dr. Petty continues his studies with his students and colleagues in the area of silver cluster-DNA interactions. ​​​​

Name Title Description


Seminar in Chemistry

Seminars presented based on current literature. Presentations include articles detailing the application of chemical principles and techniques to the natural environment. Surveys of assigned journals are presented individually; more detailed presentations are made by small groups working as teams. Topics include: coverage of recent important developments, global awareness of the application of chemistry to the natural world, experience in making scientific presentations, and encouragement of good literature reading habits.


Chemistry & Global Awareness

Introduction to the scientific method, how chemists approach the study of nature, interrelationships between theory and experiment, and the nature of scientific information. These concepts are discussed in the context of modern environmental concerns such as energy utilization, global warming, and water/air pollution. Designed specifically for non-science majors. Credit for CHM-101 cannot be granted after completion of any course in the chemistry major sequence.


Foundations of Chemistry

Introduction to the principles of chemistry. Topics include: atomic and molecular structure and chemical bonding, stoichiometry, properties of the states of matter, and energetics of chemical reactions with emphasis on problem solving, conceptual understanding, and analytical reasoning. Laboratory focuses on quantitative measurements and interpretation of data.


Kntcs, Thrmodynmcs, & Environ

Kinetic and thermodynamic principles of chemical reactions including the laws of thermodynamicss, acid-base chemistry, solubility, electrochemistry and colligative properties applied in an environmental context. Nuclear chemistry including radioactive decay, nuclear power, and the energetics of nuclear reactions.


Technical Writing in Chemistry

An introduction to the fundamental aspects of scientific writing. Additional topics include literature resources, data presentation, and individualized instruction on project specific written presentations.


Physical Chemistry I

Development of the basic concepts of physical chemistry and the theoretical and quantitative foundations for further study in chemistry. Knowledge of calculus and introductory physics is essential. Topics include: introduction to quantized energy levels, molecular structure, spectroscopy, molecular symmetry, chemical kinetics and reaction dynamics.


Physical Chemistry II

The thermodynamics and statistical mechanical aspects of physical chemistry. Laboratory connsists of physical measurements and spectroscopic characterization of matter. Working with lasers, computer interfaced instrumentation, high vacuum apparatus and other sophisticated laboratory equipment.


Advncd Tpcs in Physical Chem

Topics in physical chemistry including lasers and their applications, nanoscience, and optical spectroscopy. Topics will be connected with applications in analytical chemistry and biochemistry.


Topics in Chemistry

Topics important in various fields of modern chemistry designed as a tutorial to meet the special needs of individual students.


Graduate Seminar in Chemistry

Students present seminars based on current literature. Surveys of assigned journals are presented individually; more detailed presentations are made by small groups.



Original laboratory research



Master's thesis


Summer Undergraduate Research

Our studies revolve around the small sizes of silver clusters. These molecular metals have discrete electronic states, localized optical transitions, and strong fluorescence. DNA strands serve two purposes: (1) Their nucleobases coordinate specific species, and specific sequences yield chromophores with spectra that span the visible and near-infrared spectral regions; (2) They direct cluster transformations via changes in their secondary structure. Our studies revolve around pairs of chromophores that interconvert via hybridization. These conjugate cluster-DNA chromophores are innovative because of two features – hybridization switches on fluorescence and two-color laser excitation enhances the overall cluster emission. Mass spectrometry and X-ray absorption spectroscopy establish the basis for the fluorescence switching. Changes in the stoichiometry, charge, and structure of pairs of dim/bright chromophores are investigated. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy evaluates the basis for the two-color enhanced fluorescence. These two sets of studies will provide the foundation to develop a new class of optical sensors. These sensors will be used to detect low abundance microRNA sequences that are relevant for early cancer intervention.

Petty research, figure 1

  • Petty, J. T.; Sergev, O. O.; Ganguly, M.; Rankine, I. J.; Chevrier, D. M.; Zhang, P. A Segregated, Partially Oxidized, and Compact Ag10 Cluster within an Encapsulating DNA Host. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138 (10), 3469–3477.
  • Petty, J. T.; Sergev, O. O.; Kantor, A. G.; Rankine, I. J.; Ganguly, M.; David, F. D.; Wheeler, S. K.; Wheeler, J. F. Ten-Atom Silver Cluster Signaling and Tempering DNA Hybridization. Anal. Chem. 2015, 87(10), 5302–5309.
  • Ganguly, M.; Bradsher, C.; Goodwin, P.; Petty, J. T. DNA-Directed Fluorescence Switching of Silver Clusters. J. Phys. Chem. C, 2015, 119 (49), 27829–27837.
  • Petty, J. T.; Nicholson, D. A.; Sergev, O. O.; Graham, S. K. Near-infrared silver cluster optically signaling oligonucleotide hybridization and assembling two DNA hosts. Anal. Chem. 2014, 86, 9220-8.
  • Petty, J. T.; Giri, B.; Miller, I. C.; Nicholson, D. A.; Sergev, O. O.; Banks, T. M.; Story, S. P. Silver clusters as both chromophoric reporters and DNA ligands. Anal. Chem. 2013, 85, 2183-90.
  • Petty, J. T.; Sergev, O. O.; Nicholson, D. A.; Goodwin, P. M.; Giri, B.; McMullan, D. R. A silver cluster-DNA equilibrium. Anal. Chem. 2013, 85, 9868-76.
  • Petty, J. T.; Story, S. P.; Hsiang, J.; Dickson, R. M. DNA-Templated Molecular Silver Fluorophores. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2013, 4, 1148-1155.
  • Petty, J. T.; Story, S. P.; Juarez, S.; Votto, S. S.; Herbst, A. G.; Degtyareva, N. N.; Sengupta, B. Optical sensing by transforming chromophoric silver clusters in DNA nanoreactors. Anal. Chem. 2012, 84, 356-64.
  • Degtyareva, N. N.; Barber, C. A.; Reddish, M. J.; Petty, J. T. Sequence length dictates repeated CAG folding in three-way junctions. Biochemistry 2011, 50, 458-65.
  • Degtyareva, N. N.; Petty, J. T. Non-B conformations of CAG repeats using 2-aminopurine. Meth. Enzymol. 2011, 492, 213-31.
  • Petty, J. T.; Fan, C.; Story, S. P.; Sengupta, B.; Sartin, M.; Hsiang, J.; Perry, J. W.; Dickson, R. M. Optically enhanced, near-IR, silver cluster emission altered by single base changes in the DNA template. J. Phys. Chem. B 2011, 115, 7996-8003.
  • Petty, J. T.; Sengupta, B.; Story, S. P.; Degtyareva, N. N. DNA sensing by amplifying the number of near-infrared emitting, oligonucleotide-encapsulated silver clusters. Anal. Chem. 2011, 83, 5957-64.
  • Petty, J. T. Book Review of Advanced Fluorescence Reporters in Chemistry and Biology II: Molecular Constructions, Polymers and Nanoparticles. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133(26), 10323-10323.
  • Degtyareva, N. N.; Barber, C. A.; Sengupta, B.; Petty, J. T. Context dependence of trinucleotide repeat structures. Biochemistry 2010, 49, 3024-30.
  • Loo, K. M.; Degtyareva, N. N.; Park, J.; Sengupta, B.; Reddish, M. J.; Rogers, C. C.; Bryant, A. R.; Petty, J. T. Ag+-mediated assembly of 5'-guanosine monophosphate. J. Phys. Chem. B 2010, 114, 4320-6.
  • Petty, J. T.; Fan, C.; Story, S. P.; Sengupta, B.; Iyer, A. S. J.; Prudowsky, Z. D.; Dickson, R. M. DNA Encapsulation of Ten Silver Atoms Produces a Bright, Modulatable, Near Infrared-Emitting Cluster. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2010, 1, 2524-2529.
  • Degtyareva, N. N.; Reddish, M. J.; Sengupta, B.; Petty, J. T. Structural studies of a trinucleotide repeat sequence using 2-aminopurine. Biochemistry 2009, 48, 2340-6.
  • Sengupta, B.; Springer, K.; Buckman, J. G.; Story, S. P.; Abe, O. H.; Hasan, Z. W.; Prudowsky, Z. D.; Rudisill, S. E.; Degtyareva, N. N.; Petty, J. T. DNA Templates for Fluorescent Silver Clusters and I-Motif Folding. J. Phys. Chem. C 2009, 113, 19518-19524.
  • Sengupta, B.; Ritchie, C. M.; Buckman, J. G.; Johnsen, K. R.; Goodwin, P. M.; Petty, J. T. Base-Directed Formation of Fluorescent Silver Clusters. J. Phys. Chem. C 2008, 112, 18776-18782.
  • Degtyareva, N. N.; Fresia, M. J.; Petty, J. T. DNA conformational effects on the interaction of netropsin with A-tract sequences. Biochemistry 2007, 46, 15136-43.
  • Degtyareva, N. N.; Wallace, B. D.; Bryant, A. R.; Loo, K. M.; Petty, J. T. Hydration changes accompanying the binding of minor groove ligands with DNA. Biophys. J. 2007, 92, 959-65.
  • Ritchie, C. M.; Johnsen, K. R.; Kiser, J. R.; Antoku, Y.; Dickson, R. M.; Petty, J. T. Ag Nanocluster Formation Using a Cytosine Oligonucleotide Template. J. Phys. Chem. C 2007, 111, 175-181.
  • Kiser, J. R.; Monk, R. W.; Smalls, R. L.; Petty, J. T. Hydration changes in the association of Hoechst 33258 with DNA. Biochemistry 2005, 44, 16988-97.
  • Petty, J. T.; Zheng, J.; Hud, N. V.; Dickson, R. M. DNA-templated Ag nanocluster formation. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 5207-12.
  • Zheng, J.; Petty, J. T.; Dickson, R. M. High quantum yield blue emission from water-soluble Au8 nanodots. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 7780-1.
  • Bordelon, J. A.; Feierabend, K. J.; Siddiqui, S. A.; Wright, L. L.; Petty, J. T. Viscometry and Atomic Force Microscopy Studies of the Interactions of a Dimeric Cyanine Dye with DNA. J. Phys. Chem. B 2002, 106, 4838-4843.
  • Barker, K. D.; Benoit, B. R.; Bordelon, J. A.; Davis, R. J.; Delmas, A. S.; Mytykh, O. V.; Petty, J. T.; Wheeler, J. F.; Kane-Maguire, N. Intercalative binding and photoredox behavior of Cr(phen)2(dppz)]3+ with B-DNA. Inorg. Chim. Acta 2001, 322, 74-78.
  • Petty, J. T.; Bordelon, J. A.; Robertson, M. E. Thermodynamic Characterization of the Association of Cyanine Dyes with DNA. J. Phys. Chem. B 2000, 104, 7221-7227.
  • Knight, L. B.; King, G. M.; Petty, J. T.; Matsushita, M.; Momose, T.; Shida, T. Electron spin resonance studies of the methane radical cations (12,13CH+4, 12,13CDH+3, 12CD2H+2,12CD3H+, 12CD+4) in solid neon matrices between 2.5 and 11 K: Analysis of tunneling. J. Chem. Phys. 1995, 103, 3377-3377.
  • Knight, L. B.; Cobranchi, S. T.; Petty, J. T.; Cobranchi, D. P. The generation and electron spin resonance characterization of 63,65Cu12CH2 and 63,65Cu13CH2 in neon matrices. J. Chem. Phys. 1989, 91, 4587-4587.
  • Knight, L. B.; Cobranchi, S. T.; Petty, J. T.; Earl, E. A.; Feller, D.; Davidson, E. R. Electron spin resonance investigations of 11B12C, 11B13C, and 10B12C in neon, argon, and krypton matrices at 4 K: Comparison with theoretical results. J. Chem. Phys. 1989, 90, 690-690.
  • Knight, L. B.; Cobranchi, S. T.; Petty, J. T. Electronic ground state assignment for O+4 Neon matrix electron-spin resonance investigation. J. Chem. Phys. 1989, 91, 4423-4423.
  • Knight, L. B.; Petty, J. T.; Cobranchi, S. T.; Feller, D.; Davidson, E. R. The generation of 12C31P and 13C31P by reactive laser vaporization for rare gas matrix electron spin resonance studies: Comparison with ab initio theoretical calculations. J. Chem. Phys. 1988, 88, 3441-3441.
  • Knight, L. B.; Petty, J. T. Neon matrix ESR investigation of 69,71GaAs+ generated by the photoionization of laser vaporized GaAs(s). J. Chem. Phys. 1988, 88, 481-481.
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
B.S., Furman University

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