Dion A. Rivera , Central Washington University
Dion Rivera, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA
During the past funding year ending 8/31/11 two undergraduate students, David Bryce and Janaki Swansen, have been supported on the PRF grant. David has made substantial progress in binding polyelectrolytes to silica surfaces and using ATR-FTIR to characterize the overall success of the synthetic process. This research effort is aimed at understanding the interactions between surface bound polyelectrolytes and polyelectrolyte/surfactant complexes that adsorb to these modified surfaces. This research was proposed in an NSF grant that was submitted last November and while it was not funded the overall comments were quite positive and the data David has acquired will make the proposal even stronger. This research is the logical extension of the work started under this PRF grant and any publication that comes in the future will acknowledge the ACS-PRF. Janiki finished up work that on our studies dealing with the interactions of polyelectrolyte/surfactant complexes with dyes molecules and there adsorption to TiO2 surfaces. Janaki had only completed her freshman year when she started in my lab but she showed herself to be a very talented student and is now proficient with advanced instrumentation and multivariate data analysis. Two other students, James Agren and Kathleen Buck, worked on this project during the academic year but were not supported by PRF funds. Kathleen was supported by NSF-STEP funds. Finally, Brittany Best who was a masters student whose research was partially supported by ACS-PRF successfully defended her thesis and is now employed as a research scientist in the semiconductor industry.
The PI traveled to several conferences to present research that had been supported by the ACS-PRF. Funds from this grant were used to partially offset these costs. The PI presented a poster at the Pittconn2011 in Atlanta Georgia, a talk at the 85th ACS Surface and Colloids conference in Montreal, and a talk the ACS national fall meeting in Denver. A manuscript based on Brittany Best’s work and work of the undergraduates Kathleen Buck, James Agren, and Janaki Swansen is almost complete and should be submitted to Colloids and Surfaces A by the first of November. Funds requested in the 1 year extension will be used to ensure this work gets published. Work done under this grant to understand the interactions of polyelectrolyte/ surfactant complexes with dyes at TiO2 surfaces has attracted the interest of an outside company and research contracts have been completed for this company and patents are being filed based on that research and a paper will be published once the patent is in place. While the PRF did not directly support this work the PRF will be acknowledged in the paper since research under this grant has laid the ground work for the development of the technology.
As mentioned previously the PI plans to persure funding for extensions of the work begun under the PRF grant from the National Science Foundation and also from private industry. Work form this PRF grant has already produced one Langmuir publication (Langmuir 2010, 26, 5534-5543) and as mentioned above another paper should be submitted in the near future. Over the three year time span of this grant three students who were supported on the grant or worked on research related to the grant have gone onto Ph.D. programs (Sarah Hayden, University of Washington, Physical-Inorganic Chemistry; Mark Wirth, University of Utah, Physical Chemistry; Adam Alman, UNC Chapel Hill, Materials Chemistry). One student supported by the PRF has gone onto professional school (Ryan Scheffelmaier, Washington State University School of Pharmacy). Two other students who had work suppoted by the PRF have gone onto industrial positions (Brittany Best, semiconductor industry; Michael Hase, specialty chemicals industry). Funds from the PRF have allowed all these students to gain valuable research experience they would not otherwise have been able to have and have allowed them to jump start their careers.