The student will participate in hands on X-ray reflectivity and fluorescence experiments from bio-membranes and thin films to determine their structure-function relationship on molecular length scales and overall morphologies. The duties of the student will include sample preparations, X-ray scattering experiments, data analysis, literature search, and writing a summary. The specific projects will involve the induction of nano-crystal growth at membrane templates, similar to biomineralization processes in living organisms, and characterization of polymer-protein interactions. To a large extent this is an interdisciplinary study involving physics, chemistry and biology.
Mentor: David Vaknin, Scientist II, Ames Laboratory