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High-Performance Computing

High performance computing (HPC) is rapidly changing the way most scientific disciplines pursue science. The DMSE program of The Ames Laboratory is seeking a student with a background/ coursework in computer programming to modify and rewrite scientific code for use on High Performance Computers. 

Synthesis of Nanostructured Materials

Interns will work on developing a radically different approach to the synthesis of nanostructured materials. We design materials for energy applications (e.g., wear resistance, light harvesting) from nanoscale building blocks, which we self-assemble and consolidate to form an extended solid. In essence, the interns will learn to use nanoscale “LEGO” to create solid state materials that solve problems in energy applications or answer fundamental questions in materials science.

Blood Droplet Formation and Flight

Blood is a common type of evidence found in violent crime scenes.  The location and patterns of bloodstains are often used to confirm or refute suspect or witness accounts of the circumstances or sequence events related to a bloodletting incident.  Given the complex nature of both real world environments and the fluid itself, a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of blood drop formation and flight require basic research into these phenomena.  This research project will focus on the characterization of the variables that affect droplet formation and flight as a result

Catalysts for Renewable Energy and Materials

Precious metals and metal alloys are important heterogeneous catalysts for renewable energies and materials.  However, both of them have their limitations. Precious metals have low natural abundance and are expensive. Metal alloys have unstable surfaces due to surface segregation under reaction conditions, which renders the identification of active sites and the understanding of reaction mechanisms difficult. My research group will address these limitations by developing new intermetallic NP catalysts.

Sysnthesis of Nanostructured Materials

The physical properties and performance of materials depends on their structure as much as their composition. For example, a relatively minor change in interface chemistry improves the power efficiency of a prototype PbS quantum dot-based solar cell by an order of magnitude.
Despite this premise and the remarkable advances in materials processing and chemistry, we still cannot design and manufacture materials with a monodisperse and controllable micro- and nano-structure in a way that is scalable, versatile, inexpensive and practical.

Analyzing Plant Biochemical Makeup

Great strides have been made in the plant sciences through high-throughput DNA sequencing and analysis of plant genomes.  The challenge now is to develop analogous high-throughput technologies to analyze a plant's biochemical makeup, which is the key to utilizing genomics to improve and develop new crops.  Our project seeks to increase throughput and improve reproducibility and sensitivity of our existing seed screening platform.  The platform uses near-infrared spectroscopy to rapidly analyze single, intact seeds and select those with the desired properties for propagation.&

Mass Spectrometric Imaging

We are developing mass spectrometric imaging technique to analyze plant metabolites in single cell level. With this new technique, we can reveal unprecedented details of plant metabolism.

We are using top-notch instrumentation for this project, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI)-linear ion trap-orbitrap mass spectrometer. By reducing the laser beam size down to 10um size, we can probe molecules present in very narrow area, and acquire high-resolution mass spectra for over thousands of x and y positions.


Developing a Sustainable Catalyst Toolbox -- Work in the Woo Group is directed towards developing green chemistry approaches to catalytic reactions and sustainable technologies. Students will learn and engage in practices that develop more economical and greener processes by utilizing environmentally friendly transition metal complexes and solvents as substitutes for commonly used heavy metal compounds and organic media. A natural source of inspiration and insight is the central role of metalloporphyrins as the catalytic site in a variety of enzymes.

Using Aptamers to Detect Gene Expression

Bacteria contribute significantly to our well-being.  They constitute our microbiome that is involved in digesting food and delivering information to the brain regarding the food content.  They are essential for degrading materials in the soil and waters of our planet to maintain a stable and healthy environment for us.  A major problem in understanding how bacteria function in their native state is to be able to see how their gene expression changes under a variety of environmental conditions or with changes in the food intake.


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