The new peripherally and non-peripherally tetra-1,3-bis[3-(diethylamino)phenoxy]propan-2-ol substituted zinc(II) phthalocyanine complexes (2a and 3a) and their quaternized amphiphilic derivatives (2b and 3b) have been synthesized and characterized using UV-vis, FT-IR, H-1-NMR, C-13-NMR, MS spectroscopic data and elemental analysis for the first time. The quaternized complexes (2b and 3b) show excellent solubility in water and DMSO which makes them potential photosensitizers for use in photodynamic therapy (PDT) of cancer. The photochemical (singlet oxygen generation and photodegradation under light irradiation) properties of these novel phthalocyanines are investigated in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) for non-quaternized complexes and in DMSO, phosphate buffered solution (PBS) or PBS+triton X-100 (TX) solution for quaternized complexes. In this study, the effects of the aggregation of the molecules, quaternization, position of the substituents (peripherally or non-peripherally) and nature of the solvents (DMSO, PBS or PBS+triton X-100) on the photochemical parameters of the zinc (II) phthalocyanines are also reported. In addition, a spectroscopic investigation of the binding behavior of the quaternized zinc(II) phthalocyanine complexes to bovine serum albumin (BSA) is also presented in this work. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.