And here it is. The moment we have all been traveling towards: the end of summer research! I am actually rather sad that the summer is pretty much over already. It has been a festive summer with some great results!
As I enter my final week of research, I am almost rushing to tie up a couple of projects so that they do not dangle the two weeks before I come back to school.
In reflection of all that has happened this summer, I’ve realized that the past 10 weeks have gone by incredibly quickly. Overall, I was able to test samples from four different gels and find a plethora of peptides and subsequent proteins. In addition, I learned a lot about the other projects we are doing in the lab, like our kinetic method projects for finding proton affinity of unnatural amino acids. We also flowing afterglow mass spectrometer up and running and taking data, something that has not been attained in our lab for several years. There was a lot of progress in both my project and the others in our lab, despite the power outage and lost weeks.
This last week was eventful in that a few things were discovered about my project. One ligand variation yielded a proton NMR very similar to a starting material, and this led Dr. McNamara and I to conclude the ligand never synthesized. Because of this, I complexed this particular starting material with iron to see if I indeed had a failed synthesis. In addition to this, the primary ligand variation I ran electrochemistry tests on acted differently in a glove bag that was designed to create an air-free environment. I am not sure yet what this means for the reactivity, but the best part of this experiment was the complex did not decompose after almost an hour and a half! Hopefully this signals good things for the research during the year.
Aside from my main project, I have been helping get another mass spectrometer in the lab up and running: the flowing afterglow. This instrument allows us to conduct reactions in the flow tube to produce ions using volatile compounds. In addition, temperature and pressure can be controlled in the instrument to create an atmospheric environment for these reactions.