Anna Zavodni - McMaster University

Placement: University of Alberta
Supervisor: Dr. Glen Loppnow

Exploring the Vibrational Properties of Ferrocene Derivatives and Parallel Raman Spectroscopy

This summer I am working concurrently on two projects. One of them involves examining the vibronic coupling interactions of ferrocene derivatives, and the other concerns building some new equipment for the lab.

One of the ultimate goals of the ferrocene project is to contribute to an understanding of electron transfer mechanisms in proteins. Using resonance Raman techniques to selectively excite the iron atom of the ferrocene chromophore, the spectra of the molecules which contain the ferrocene group and a benzene ring separated by a variable number of proline residues are obtained. By comparing these spectra to each other and those spectra of the component parts of these compounds, information can be obtained about the way vibrations are transmitted along the molecules.

The second project is a shared effort between myself and other members of the group. Raman spectroscopy in general, is a very useful tool for the characterization of molecular information. Its efficiency and applicability could be improved if the process of obtaining spectra were faster. We are trying to develop a parallel Raman spectrometer, a piece of equipment which would be capable of taking many spectra at once. In order to achieve this objective, we are examining methods of bringing the laser light to many separate samples, then collecting the scattered wavelengths, and finally taking this light to the monochromator and detector system. In developing this technique we are experimenting with various fiber optics and other waveguide systems.

Beyond the specific scope of these projects I'm learning a lot about general research processes and also about techniques for working in this lab. I've been taught a lot about the care, maintenance, and use of lasers and optical surfaces.

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