Advancing speciation of complex systems at the nanoscale

Project Title: Advancing speciation of complex systems at the nanoscale

Principle Investigator: Laurene Tetard

Project Description: Research in Dr. Tetard’s group focuses on the development of new nanoscale functional imaging and spectroscopy methods and their applications to emerging materials. The current developments focus on the coupling of acoustic imaging and atomic force microscopy, and on light-matter interactions at the nanoscale. We aim to use these new platforms to characterize complex systems such as plant-derived materials, cells and bacteria, or new materials for energy devices.

Applicants interested in joining the team for a summer project will learn fundamentals of atomic force microscopy, acoustic imaging and/or infrared spectroscopy, signal analysis, and a variety of sample preparation techniques. The applicant will benefit from the mentoring of a diverse team of graduate and undergraduate students, in view of establishing his/her own independent project. More specifically, the student will:

1- learn the basics of atomic force microscopy in standard modes of operation

2- learn and implement simple hardware and software modifications to add an external actuation source (acoustic or light) to the atomic force microscopy platform

3- carry out measurements to establish the proof of concept of the new platform functionalities and performance

4- carry out measurements on an heterogeneous sample to explore the new information accessible with the tool

5- perform the data analysis, participate in the result dissemination by presenting the work in poster and oral presentations, as well as in a peer-review manuscript.