VU Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

Friday, Jan. 31, at 3:30 PM in NSC 224. Join us for refreshments in the Planetarium at 3:05 PM.

"Sabbatical Research Talk: Life in Kyoto, Japan, & Studying the Structure of Polymer Nanocapsules"

Nanomaterials hold great promise for revolutionizing fields such as material science, energy, and medicine. This last area in particular is generating a lot of activity because nanomaterials can be created that mimic nature’s own nanomachines (liposomes, proteins, ribosomes, etc). In collaboration with researchers at St. Louis University, we use a templating method to spontaneously form nanocapsules that can be used for a variety of medical (and other) applications. On the nano-scale, structure has a large influence on function, so we use x-ray and neutron scattering to determine the structures of these materials, working our way towards rational design of engineered organic nanoparticles. In this talk I will present the templating method, show some applications of the polymer nanocapsules, discuss the scattering technique, and share the results of the structural studies.  Some of this work was performed while I was on sabbatical in Kyoto, Japan, with my family in spring 2012, so I will talso talk about that experience and show some pictures of our time there.