Innovate & Inspire Be inspired by these ACS PRF-supported scientists' stories

Oil Droplet Adhesion

Dr. Marjorie Longo

Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering
University of California, Davis
Grant #54813-ND5

Rare Isotopologues as Tracers of Methane Provenance

Dr. Marjorie L. Longo, who is a professor at the University of California, Davis in the Department of Chemical Engineering, received her undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her PRF New Direction (ND) grant focuses on the mechanical and adhesive properties of crude oil droplets. Dr. Longo’s research involves surfactants and lipids. Two familiar examples of these classes of molecules are surfactant hand soaps and biological lipid membranes. The original inspiration for this research was Dr. Longo’s desire to apply the technique of micropipette aspiration to a new area–the properties of thin surfactant films on oil droplets. Read the full story…

Catalytic Hydrogenations

Dr. William McNamara

Chemistry Department
College of William and Mary
Grant #55342-UNI3

Catalytic Hydrogenations using First Row Transition Metal Complexes

Dr. William (Bill) McNamara is an inorganic chemist whose research project “Catalytic Hydrogenations Using First Row Transition Metals” has been supported by a PRF Undergraduate New Investigator (UNI) Grant. Dr. McNamara, an associate professor at the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia, indicates that the initial focus of the project was development of iron, cobalt and nickel catalysts for hydrogenation reactions. As he freely admits, “twenty-five or so new catalyst complexes were made but none were effective for hydrogenation reactions.” Read the full story…

Detrital Zircon Dating

Dr. Diane Clemens-Knott

Department of Geological Sciences
California State University, Fullerton
Grant #56245-UR8

Testing Models for the Formation of the Great Valley Basin using Detrital Zircon U/Pb Dates: An Early Cretaceous Forearc Basin or a Mid-Jurassic Pull-Apart Basin?

Dr. Diane Clemens-Knott and her students are investigating the geologic record of sediment deposition and tectonism along the western margin of North America. Eastward subduction of ocean floor during the Mesozoic Era formed the igneous rocks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, with sediments eroded from the Sierra Nevada volcanic arc being deposited in the Great Valley fore-arc basin of California. Her current PRF grant provides support for mapping and characterizing metamorphic pendants—scraps of recrystallized sedimentary rocks that were engulfed by the younger hot magmas. Read the full story…

Bottlebrush Polymers

Dr. John B. Matson

Department of Chemistry
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Grant #54884-DNI7

Tapered Bottlebrush Polymers: A New Polymer Topology

Dr. John B. Matson is an assistant professor of Chemistry at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. His American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator (DNI) grant involves the synthesis of novel polymeric shapes and evaluation of the resulting properties exhibited by these polymeric materials. Polymers are long chain macromolecules, which are commonly synthesized from petrochemical feedstocks. A standard, linear polymer has the basic shape of a string, and typically assumes a random coil configuration. At sufficiently high molecular weight or chain length, a melt of linear polymers assumes an entangled configuration. Read the full story…