Spin-Coating Has My Head Spinning

The Infamous Spin Coater

The Infamous Spin Coater

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Photobleaching: Our Formidable Foe

When trying to find single molecules, there is a delicate balance that has to be struck between sending in too much power and not enough. Remember in my previous post when I said power was going to be the theme of the summer? I wasn’t kidding. If send a molecule too little power, the fluorescence intensity you’re going to get back will be too low, and consequently indistinguishable from the fluorescence you’re getting back from potential dust particles. Consider the following two scans, one taken of our sample (10^-10 M alizarin in ethanol) and the other as a control of just ethanol. The intensity counts are so similar that it’s impossible to say for certain that we’re actually looking at alizarin molecules and not just our solvent or dust.

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P-Chem Labs and Power Testing

When most people think of chemistry, the traditional image of the white lab  coat, gloves, and goggles hunched over an erlenmeyer flask, surrounded by a slew bottles marked “DANGER,” may come to mind. However, this visual is more fitting for a synthetic or organic chemist. The research I am doing is in the concentration of physical chemistry, and while I still work with chemicals and follow standard safety procedures, one aspect of the Wustholz lab differs from the stereotypical chemistry lab: we work with lasers.

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Using SMS to Describe The Fading Mechanisms of Organic Red Dyes

When thinking about the great artists of our time, Da Vinci, Picasso, or Monet, to name a few, one comes to realize how important their contributions were to shaping the progression of our society. But as time goes on the masterpieces we cherish fade away, even under the care of the finest museums. Vibrant pigments become a dull semblance of what they once were, sometimes even changing color completely. So how can we preserve an artist’s original intent, letting their work be studied for decades to come? With chemistry.

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