Projects available for undergraduate research
Our laboratory develops novel spectroscopic methods, including methods of two-dimensional infrared (2DIR) spectroscopy, and applies them for studying three-dimensional structures and dynamics of structural changes in complex molecular systems. With the design of the first fully automated two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy instrument in our laboratory (press release: http://tulane.edu/news/releases/pr_013014.cfm), a wide range of research projects became available, including those for renewable energy and material design. Research opportunities in three research directions are outlined below.
Alzheimer disease (AD) causes brain dementia and is the third leading cause of death in the United States. While the origin of AD is unknown, there exist many hypotheses. Metal ions, such as Cu2+/+ and Zn2+ were shown to play important role in AD. The project targets a molecular-level understanding of how the ions affect permeability and consistency of cell membranes and will use infrared spectroscopy methods as main tools.
Another project is directed at optimizing solar cell performance. Electron transfer reactions are important steps in solar-cell operation. Finding ways of manipulating electron transfer rates by external stimuli will benefit the overall process of charge separation and solar cell operation. Infrared radiation is used as such stimulus; its influence on the electron injection into the TiO2 nanoparticles will be studied.
The development of nanomaterials with desired thermal conductivity properties is important in many areas of science and technology, including molecular electronics. Thermal conductivity of materials depends on a phonon transport regime. The fast ballistic regime results in efficient energy transport, while diffusive transport is slow and thus less efficient. The project targets the development of oligomeric systems with controlled thermal conductivity, including efficient thermal conductors and conductors of desired molecular architecture.
Interested students should contact Igor Rubtsov by e-mail or phone.
Physical Chemistry Division Outstanding Student Poster Award was presented to Sriram Gopal Naraharisetty. The Award was presented at the 235th National ACS Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, April 6-10, 2008.
School of Science and Engineering, 201 Lindy Boggs Center, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5764 firstname.lastname@example.org