Summer 2018 Students: Furman University MADE in SC Student Fellows

Eight undergraduates (7 Furman, 1 visiting student from Benedict College) participated in ten-week research projects mentored by five Chemistry faculty at Furman University campus this summer as supported as MADE in SC Student Fellows:

Dr. Marion Martin worked with Furman student Henry London on the Spectroscopic Characterization of Hydration Layers on Mixed Self-Assembled Monolayers (SAMs) (Thrust 1). Thin water films coat an array of surfaces including windows, vegetation and airborne particles, that vary in their wettability due to the presence of both organic and inorganic compounds. Professor Martin’s group is developing materials characterization tools measuring water adsorption on mixed SAMs to explore the hydration layer formed on structures ranging from hydrophobic to hydrophilic in nature.

Dr. Tim Hanks (Thrust 3 co-leader) worked with Furman students Annie Curtiss (Synthesis of Polymer Brushes On Conducting Polymer Nanoparticles) and Hannah Feinburg (Conducting Polymer Bioinks for Regenerative Medicine). Since conducting polymer nanoparticles are readily surface-modified to alter their interactions with biological systems, tunable polymer brushes can be grown on these nanoparticles using controlled radical polymerization reactions. In addition, conducting polymers can be blended with, or coated on, biopolymers to provide enhanced functionality. Optimized inks can then be printed using an extrusion process to yield 3D constructs that support the attachment and growth of cells.

In support of Thrust 1, Dr. Paul Wagenknecht mentored Furman student Emily Lane, Investigating Charge Transfer Behavior in New Donor-pi Bridge-Acceptor Complexes for use in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs). Titania semiconductor nanoparticles are surface modified with a sensitizer (dye) in order to absorb light in the visible spectrum and convert those incident photons into electrical power, and Emily explored ligand-to-metal and metal-to-metal charge-transfer for a series of titanocene-based dyes with the goal of developing new sensitizers for DSSCs.

Other Furman faculty-undergraduate research teams engaged in MADE in SC research projects included Dr. Jeff Petty, who worked with Furman student Savannah Carnahan and Benedict College student Ahmed Yunus, and Dr. Brian Goess, who worked with Furman students Declan Devens and Grace Flanagan on projects related to Thrust 2 and Thrust 3.

Dr. Jeff Petty’s summer research group at Furman University

Dr. Brian Goess’ summer research group at Furman University

September 6, 2018