Boris M. Krasovitskii
by Leonid D. Patsenker, Department of Chemical Sciences, Ariel University, Israel.
Boris M. Krasovitskii (4/17 August 1916 — 14 March 2008, The Russian Empire, USSR, Ukraine), Professor, Doctor of Chemical Sciences, Honored Scientist of Ukraine, Awardee of the Prize of the USSR Council of Ministers, Awardee of the State Prize of Ukraine, Awardee of the A. I. Kiprianov Prize of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Distinguished scientist in chemistry and material science in particular in the development, investigation, and application of organic luminophores and dyes. Founder of the scientific school of organic luminescent materials in the former Soviet Union and then in Ukraine.
Boris Krasovitskii was born on 4 (17) August 1916 in city Sumy (The Russian Empire). He graduated from Kharkov seven-year school, and then the technical school at the Kharkov Electromechanical Plant. In 1933, he continued his education at the Chemical Faculty of the Kharkov State University, specializing in the field of organic chemistry. Being a university student, he simultaneously engaged in public work, initiating the creation of the first in the USSR Student's Scientific Society and he was the first Chairman of this society.
After graduation from the Kharkov State University in 1938, Boris Krasovitskii entered the post-graduate course at the Institute of Chemistry of the same university. His scientific adviser was the famous organic chemist, Professor E. S. Hotinsky, the head of the two Departments of Organic Chemistry, at the Chemical Faculty and at the Institute of Chemistry. An important role in the formation of Boris Krasovitskii as a chemist was played by the beneficial influence of one of the outstanding scientists, in the future - Academician and Vice-President of the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Ukrainian Republic, Professor A. I. Kiprianov.
Because of the outbreak of the Second World War Boris Krasovitskii was unable to defend his Ph.D. thesis as in July 1941 he was ordered to the front, and only returned to Kharkov in late 1945. After defending his thesis in June 1946, Boris Krasovitskii became an Associate Professor of the Department of Organic Chemistry and at the same time a Scientific Secretary of the University, and later — Deputy Dean of the Chemical Faculty. He conducted lectures for students in organic chemistry but also special courses of chemistry. A huge scientific research Krasovitskii combined with numerous organizational activities. Among others, he was Deputy Chairman of the Commission on the reconstruction of the new university building destroyed during the war.
A large series of works in the field of synthesis and investigation of organic dyes culminated in the defense in 1960 of his Doctoral Dissertation "Studies in a Series of Azo Dyes Derived from Bisdiazotized Amines."
In 1961, Krasovitskii headed the Laboratory of Organic Synthesis (accounted for 50–60 scientists) of the All-Union Scientific Research Institute for Single Crystals, Scintillation Materials and Extra Pure Chemical Reagents with the Ministry of Chemical Industry of the USSR, which had just been organized in Kharkov (now the Institute for Single Crystals of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine). But until 1970 he continued to work part-time as a Professor in the Department of Organic Chemistry of the Kharkov State University. In 2004 his laboratory was transformed to the Department of Organic Luminophores and Dyes.
Krasovitskii started a new scientific and applied direction in the USSR — chemistry of organic luminophores and luminescent materials. He founded the scientific school of organic luminescent materials. Four Dr. Sci. dissertations and 35 Ph.D. thesis were defended under his supervision.
Krasovitskii with his numerous students and collaborators developed and studied a huge number of novel luminophores of various classes of organic compounds: azomethines and ethylenes, oxazoles and oxadiazoles, chalcones and pyrazolines, phthalic and naphthalic acid derivatives, styryls, and cyanines among others. He significantly contributed in the chemistry and fluorescence spectroscopy of compounds containing two fluorophoric moieties, so-called bifluorophores. He proposed a classification of bifluorophores and first developed and investigated bifluorophores of the ionic structure.
Most all researchers carried out by Krasovitskii had a bright practical focus. During his scientific term he developed organic scintillators for detection and studying ionizing radiation, materials for flaw (crack) detection, laser dyes, daylight fluorescent pigments and paints, fluorescent probes and labels for biomedical applications, chemiluminescent materials, light converters, light-resistant and light-converting polymeric films for agricultural greenhouses, materials for visible and invisible labeling and protection, and many others.
With his team, Prof. Krasovitskii also set up large-scale productions of the developed fluorescent materials at numerous chemical plants all over the Soviet Union. Only at the one chemical plant "Krasitel" (city Rubezhnoe) over a hundred luminescent products were manufactured and used for various industrial enterprises in the textile, polygraphy, mechanical engineering, shipbuilding, aircraft construction, agricultural and military industry branches. Some of these products were produced in thousands of tons a year.
A series of novel fluorescent probes and labels for biomedical assays and medical diagnostics were also developed by Krasovitskii in collaboration with biologists, biophysicists, and physicians. These markers were applied for the fluorescent quantification of blood albumin, cholesterol, and triglycerides, quantitative determination of lipids, for the diagnosis of hyperlipidemia and diseases associated with the impaired liver function, and for some other diagnostic purposes.
For many years Krasovitskii's lab was the coordinating center for research conducted in the USSR in the field of organic luminophores and luminescent materials. Krasovitskii headed the Council on Organic Luminophores of the Ministry of Chemical Industry of the USSR, and then the Section of Organic Materials and the Scientific Council on Luminescence of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Krasovitskii was also the organizer of the regular All-Union Conferences on Organic Luminophores, constantly held in Kharkov for many years. Unfortunately, his international contacts were severely restricted in the Soviet era.
Krasovitskii with collaborators published more than 600 scientific papers and more than 200 issued patents. His monograph "Organic Luminescent Materials", co-written with his former Ph.D. student Professor Boris M. Bolotin was published in 2 editions in the USSR (1976 and 1984) and reissued in Germany (1988). He was the leading author of the books: "Preparative Chemistry of Organic Luminophores" (1997), "Atlas of Spectra of Organic Luminophores" (Issue 1, 2001 and Issue 2, 2003), and "Mono- and Bifluorophores" (2002). Krasovitskii published also a series of historical books.
Boris Krasovitskii was actively working until his sudden death in the 92nd year of his life.
Honors and awards:
1982 — The Prize of the USSR Council of Ministers. 1985 — The Title of "Honored Chemist" (USSR). 1989 — The Title of "Honored Scientist of Ukraine". 1990 — The A. I. Kiprianov Prize of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. 1992 — The State Prize of Ukraine. 2006 — Honored Professor of the Scientific and Technological Center "Institute for Single Crystals" of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
Scientific developments of Boris Krasovitskii were awarded by the five medals (including two gold ones) of the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy of the USSR (VDNKh).