June Update

From late May to now, I have been working on getting in the groove of things, becoming more accustomed to lab procedure. The goal of my project is to confirm the underlying kinetic behavior of Rhodamine 560 (R560), in comparison to previously studied Rhodamine B (RB), which was previously done on a 532nm laser. I started by working towards obtaining consistent single molecule scans of RB using this laser, different to the 470 I was using during the school year. Starting at higher concentrations before working towards single molecule concentrations, I had to find optimal power settings for corresponding concentrations. To find optimal power settings, I ran multiple scans at various power settings on the laser to obtain a high amount of photon counts while simultaneously preventing photobleaching of the RB dye. After this, it was a matter of refining my preparation of the dye solution for scans and ensuring I was collecting data in the correct manner.

After beginning to obtain data on RB molecules, it was necessary to start on data analysis, via a change point detection (CPD) program. This program helps in taking data and interpreting significant ON and OFF times in our blinking traces. On/off times gives information regarding the underlying electron transfer kinetics, whether the electron remains on the dye (on) or undergoes transfer (off). Further plans include taking more data on RB.