Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Zhang, Dongmao.

Committee Member

Wipf, David O.

Committee Member

Mlsna, Todd E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Chemistry


Thiols are one of the most important classes of chemicals used broadly in organic synthesis, biological chemistry, and nanosciences. Thiol pKa values are key indicators of thiol reactivity and functionality. This study is an internally-referenced Raman-based pH titration method that enables reliable quantification of thiol pKa values for both mono- and di-thiols in water. The degree of thiol ionization is monitored directly using the peak intensity of the S-H stretching feature relative to an internal reference peak as a function of solution pH. The thiol pKa values and Raman activity relative to its internal reference were then determined by curveitting the experimental data with equations derived on the basis of the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation. Using this Raman titration method, first and second thiol pKa values for 1,2-benzenedithol in water were determined for the first time. This method is convenient to implement and its underlying theory is easy to follow.