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Viktor N. Nemykin

Department Head


Our research group is interested in the design and application of functional dyes. These dyes vary from the aromatic macrocycles such as porphyrins (pigments of life) and phthalocyanines (the most common industrial blue and green pigments) to newer BODIPY and aza-BODIPY systems. Before moving to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, we have developed a new class of the electron-deficient functional dyes (“Manitoba dipyrromethenes” or MB-DIPYs), which have a variety of potential applications. When coupled with the organometallic fragments, such as ferrocenes, these functional materials quite often reveal exciting properties (mixed-valence, electron-migration, and photo-induced electron transfer) that are potentially useful for molecular electronics, light-harvesting, redox-switchable fluorescence imaging, and bio-imaging. We are also interested in the catalytic and electrocatalytic reactions that are facilitated by the transition-metal porphyrins, phthalocyanines, and tetraazaporphyrins for water splitting and selective C-H bond activation reactions. Finally, our group is interested in the development of reliable computational protocols for the accurate prediction of the spectroscopic properties of the functional dyes.


Viktor Nemykin received his BS and MS in Chemistry from the Kyiv State University and a PhD from the National Academy of Sciences in Ukraine working on transition-metal and lanthanide phthalocyanines. In several years, he was awarded a highly competitive postdoctoral fellowship supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. It was completed at Tohoku University, working under the supervision of Prof. Nagao Kobayashi on the preparation of phthalocyanines and their analogs. After completing another postdoctoral program at Duquesne University with Prof. Partha Basu in bio-inorganic chemistry, Prof. Nemykin joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Minnesota Duluth. In 2016, Prof. Nemykin was recruited as a Department Head to the University of Manitoba. In 2020 he moved to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville as a Professor and Department Head.


BS/MS (1993)

PhD (1995)

Awards and Recognitions

2018 Visiting Professor, Collaborative Research Center on Energy Materials, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
2016 Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Research, the University of Minnesota Duluth, USA
2015 Invited Presidential Professor, Tohoku University, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
2012 Visiting Professor, Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
2009 – 2016 Minnesota Supercomputing Institute Senior Research Fellow
2008 Visiting Professor, the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy
2006 Visiting Professor, Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
1998 – 2000 Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Postdoctoral Fellowship
1998 – 2000 INTAS Research Fellowship
1996 NATO international travel award for the former Soviet Union countries
1994 – 1996 Ukrainian President Fellowship for young investigators
1993 – 1994 Postgraduate scholarship from Ukrainian Academy of Sciences for young investigators


New functional dyes and synthetic methodologies:

  1. Zatsikha, Y. V.; Shamova, L. I.; Blesener, T.; Herbert, D. E.; Nemykin, V. N. “Rigid, Yet Flexible: Formation of the Unprecedented Silver MB-DIPY Dimers with Orthogonal Chromophore Geometry” Dalton Trans. 2020, 49, 5034-5038.
  2. Zatsikha, Y. V.; Shamova, L. I.; Blesener, T. S.; Kuzmin, I. A.; Germanov, Y. V.; Herbert, D. E.; Nemykin, V. N. “Development of a Class of Easily Scalable, Electron-Deficient, Core-Extended Benzo-Fused Azadipyrromethene Derivatives ("MB-DIPY")” J. Org. Chem. 2019, 84, 14540-14557.
  3. Zatsikha, Y. V.; Didukh, N. O.; Swedin, R. K.; Yakubovskyi, V. P.; Blesener, T. S.; Healy, A. T.; Herbert, D. E.; Blank, D. A.; Nemykin, V. N.; Kovtun, Y. P. “Preparation of Viscosity-Sensitive Isoxazoline/Isoxazolyl-Based Molecular Rotors and Directly Linked BODIPY-Fulleroisoxazoline from the Stable meso-(Nitrile Oxide)-Substituted BODIPY” Org. Lett. 2019, 21, 5713-5718.
  4. Didukh, N. O.; Yakubovskyi, V. P.; Zatsikha, Y. V.; Rohde, G. T.; Nemykin, V. N.; Kovtun, Y. P. “Flexible BODIPY Platform That Offers an Unexpected Regioselective Heterocyclization Reaction toward Preparation of 2-Pyridone[a]-Fused BODIPYs” J. Org. Chem. 2019, 84, 2133-2147.
  5. Didukh, N. O.; Yakubovskyi, V. P.; Zatsikha, Y. V.; Nemykin, V. N.; Kovtun, Y. P. “meso-Nitromethyl-Substituted BODIPYs – A new type of water switchable fluorogenic dyes useful for further core modifications” Dyes & Pigments 2018, 149, 774-782.
  6. Zatsikha, Y. V.; Nemez, D. B.; Davis, R. L.; Singh, S.; Herbert, D. E.; King, A. J.; Ziegler, C. J.; Nemykin, V. N. “Testing the Limits of the BOPHY Platform: Preparation, Characterization, and Theoretical Modeling of BOPHYs and Organometallic BOPHYs with Electron-Withdrawing Groups at β-Pyrrolic and Bridging Positions” Chem. Eur. J. 2017, 23(59), 14786-14796.
  7. Makarova, E. A.; Zatsikha, Y. V.; Newman, K. M. E.; Paidi, V. K.; Beletsky, V. A.; van Lierop, J.; Lukyanets, E. A.; Nemykin, V. N. “Direct Synthesis of an Unprecedented Stable Radical of Nickel(II) 3,5-Bis(dimedonyl)azadiisoindomethene with Strong and Narrow Near-Infrared Absorption at λ ∼ 1000 nm” Inorg. Chem. 2017, 56, 6052-6055.

Organometallic functional dyes and electron-transfer:

  1. Zatsikha, Y. V.; Swedin, R. K.; Healy, A. T.; Goff, P. C.; Didukh, N. O.; Blesener, T. S.; Kayser, M.; Kovtun, Y. P.; Blank, D. A.; Nemykin, V. N. “Synthesis, Characterization, and Electron-Transfer Properties of Ferrocene-BODIPY-Fullerene Near-Infrared-Absorbing Triads: Are Catecholopyrrolidine-Linked Fullerenes a Good Architecture to Facilitate Electron-Transfer?” Chem. Eur. J. 2019, 25, 8401-8414.
  2. Swedin, R. K.; Zatsikha, Y. V.; Healy, A. T.; Didukh, N. O.; Blesener, T. S.; Fathi-Rasekh, M.; Wang, T.; King, A. J.; Nemykin, V. N.; Blank, D. A. Rapid Excited-State Deactivation of BODIPY Derivatives by a Boron-Bound Catechol J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2019, 10(8), 1828-1832.
  3. Zatsikha, Y. V.; Blesener, T. S.; Goff, P. C.; Healy, A. T.; Swedin, R. K.; Herbert, D. E.; Rohde, G. T.; Chanawanno, K.; Ziegler, C. J.; Belosludov, R. V.; Blank, D. A.; Nemykin, V. N. “1,7-Dipyrene-Containing Aza-BODIPYs: Are Pyrene Groups Effective as Ligands To Promote and Direct Complex Formation with Common Nanocarbon Materials?” J. Phys. Chem. C 2018, 122, 27893-27916.
  4. Zatsikha, Y. V.; Didukh, N. O.; Nemez, D.; Schlachter, A. C.; Karsenti, P.-L.; Kovtun, Y. P.; Harvey, P. D.; Nemykin, V. N. “Ferrocene-BODIPY merocyanine dyads: new NIR absorbing platforms with optical properties susceptible to protonation” Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 7612-7615.
  5. Erickson, N. R.; Holstrom, C. D.; Rhoda, H. M.; Rohde, G. T.; Zatsikha, Y. V.; Galloni, P.; Nemykin, V. N. “Tuning Electron-Transfer Properties in 5,10,15,20-Tetra(1'-hexanoylferrocenyl)porphyrins as Prospective Systems for Quantum Cellular Automata and Platforms for Four-Bit Information Storage” Inorg. Chem. 2017, 56, 4716-4727.
  6. Zatsikha, Y. V.; Holstrom, C. D.; Chanawanno, K.; Osinski, A. J.; Ziegler, C. J.; Nemykin, V. N. “Observation of the Strong Electronic Coupling in Near-Infrared-Absorbing Tetraferrocene aza-Dipyrromethene and aza-BODIPY with Direct Ferrocene-α- and Ferrocene-β-Pyrrole Bonds: Toward Molecular Machinery with Four-Bit Information Storage Capacity” Inorg. Chem. 2017, 56, 991-1000.
  7. Didukh, N. O.; Zatsikha, Y. V.; Rohde, G. T.; Blesener, T. S.; Yakubovskyi, V. P.; Kovtun, Y. P.; Nemykin, V. N. “NIR absorbing diferrocene-containing meso-cyano-BODIPY with a UV-Vis-NIR spectrum remarkably close to that of magnesium tetracyanotetraferrocenyltetraazaporphyrin” Chem. Commun. 2016, 52, 11563-11566.
  8. Rhoda, H. M.; Kayser, M. P.; Wang, Y.; Nazarenko, A. Y.; Belosludov, R. V.; Kiprof, P.; Blank, D. A.; Nemykin, V. N. “Tuning Up an Electronic Structure of the Subphthalocyanine Derivatives toward Electron-Transfer Process in Noncovalent Complexes with C60 and C70 Fullerenes: Experimental and Theoretical Studies” Inorg. Chem. 2016, 55, 9549-9563.

Catalysis and electro-catalysis:

  1. Yusubov, M. S.; Celik, C.; Geraskina, M. R.; Yoshimura, A.; Zhdankin, V. V.; Nemykin, V. N. “Binuclear iron(III) octakis(perfluorophenyl)tetraazaporphyrin μ-oxodimer: a highly efficient catalyst for biomimetic oxygenation reactions” Tetr. Lett. 2014, 55, 5687-5690.
  2. Neu, H. M.; Zhdankin, V. V.; Nemykin, V. N. “Binuclear iron(III) phthalocyanine(-oxodimer)/tetrabutylammonium oxone: a powerful catalytic system for oxidation of hydrocarbons in organic solution”. Tetr. Lett. 2010, 51, 6545-6548.
  3. Yoshimura, A.; Neu, H. M.; Nemykin, V. N.; Zhdankin, V. V. “Metalloporphyrin/Iodine(III)-Cocatalyzed Oxygenation of Aromatic Hydrocarbons”. Adv. Synth. Catal. 2010, 352, 1455-1460.
  4. Neu, H. M.; Yusubov, M. S.; Zhdankin, V. V.; Nemykin, V. N. "Binuclear iron(III) phthalocyanine(µ-oxo-dimer)-catalyzed oxygenation of aromatic hydrocarbons with iodosylbenzene sulfate and iodosylbenzene as the oxidants". Adv. Synth. Catal. 2009, 351, 3168-3174.

Spectroscopy and computational chemistry:

  1. Dorazio,S. J.; Vogel, A.; Dechert, S.; Nevonen, D.; Nemykin, V. N.; Brückner, C.; Meyer, F. "Siamese-Twin Porphyrin Goes Platinum: Group 10 Monometallic, Homobimetallic, and Heterobimetallic Complexes" Inorg. Chem. 2020, 59, 7290-7305.
  2. Nevonen, D. E.; Rohde, G. T.; Nemykin, V. N. “New Insight Into an Old Problem: Analysis, Interpretation, and Theoretical Modeling of the Absorption and Magnetic Circular Dichroism Spectra of Monomeric and Dimeric Zinc Phthalocyanine Cation-Radical” Inorg. Chem. 2019, 58, 14120-14135.
  3. Fathi-Rasekh, M.; Rohde, G. T.; Hart, M. D.; Nakakita, T.; Zatsikha, Y. V.; Valiev, R. R.; Barybin, M. V.; Nemykin, V. N. "Positional Isomers of Isocyanoazulenes as Axial Ligands Coordinated to Ruthenium(II) Tetraphenylporphyrin: Fine-tuning Redox and Optical Profiles" Inorg. Chem. 2019, 58, 9316-9325.
  4. Belosludov, R. V; Nevonen, D.; Rhoda, H. M; Sabin, J. R; Nemykin, V. N. “Simultaneous Prediction of the Energies of Qx and Qy Bands and Intramolecular Charge-Transfer Transitions in Benzoannulated and Non-Peripherally Substituted Metal-Free Phthalocyanines and Their Analogues: No Standard TDDFT Silver Bullet Yet” J. Phys. Chem. A 2019, 123, 132-152.
  5. Doble, S.; Osinski, A. J.; Holland, S. M.; Fisher, J. M.; Geier, G. R.; Belosludov, R. V.; Ziegler, C. J.; Nemykin, V. N. “Magnetic Circular Dichroism of Transition-Metal Complexes of Perfluorophenyl-N-Confused Porphyrins: Inverting Electronic Structure through a Proton” J. Phys. Chem. A 2017, 121, 3689-3698.
  6. Dudkin, S. V.; Erickson, N. R.; Vologzhanina, A. V.; Novikov, V. V.; Rhoda, H. M.; Holstrom, C. D.; Zatsikha, Y. V.; Yusubov, M. S.; Voloshin, Y. Z.; Nemykin, V. N. “Preparation, X-ray Structures, Spectroscopic, and Redox Properties of Di- and Trinuclear Iron-Zirconium and Iron-Hafnium Porphyrinoclathrochelates” Inorg. Chem. 2016, 55, 11867-11882.
  7. Rhoda, H. M.; Akhigbe, J.; Ogikubo, J.; Sabin, J. R.; Ziegler, C. J.; Bruckner, C.; Nemykin, V. N. “Magnetic Circular Dichroism Spectroscopy of meso-Tetraphenylporphyrin-Derived Hydroporphyrins and Pyrrole-Modified Porphyrins” J. Phys. Chem. A 2016, 120, 5805-5815.
  8. Belosludov, R. V.; Rhoda, H. M.; Zhdanov, R. K.; Belosludov, V. R.; Kawazoe, Y.; Nemykin, V. N. “Conceptual design of tetraazaporphyrin- and subtetraazaporphyrin-based functional nanocarbon materials: electronic structures, topologies, optical properties, and methane storage capacities” Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2016, 18, 13503-13518.

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Contact Information

  • 552 Buehler Hall
  • 1420 Circle Drive
  • Knoxville, TN 37996-1600
  • Phone: 865-974-9497
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