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Bridget Gourley: Physics of water

Work in my research group currently has three major foci with particular areas getting more or less emphasis depending on student interest. I have on-going projects synthesizing and characterizing gold nanoparticles with a variety of capping agents for use developing optical biosensors, using reverse micelles as way to look at the behavior of water in confined environments and transport across lipid boundaries, modeling laser-molecule interactions theoretically. All of these projects contribute to our fundamental understanding of various molecular properties. With the gold nanoparticle project, we are currently working to control the size growth of the gold nanoparticles under various green chemistry syntheses and to attach a library of biomolecules to the capping agents. We use steady state and time resolved spectroscopies of various probe molecules to elucidate the structure and dynamics of our reverse micelle systems. In our laser-molecule interaction studies we are specifically looking at IR energy transfer and redistribution in small molecules such as HF or OCS.