Light Scattering

Award # DMR 1625813

With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program, the University of Mississippi (UM) will acquire a goniometer-based light scattering instrument. Light scattering is a versatile tool for the non-destructive characterization of a wide variety of systems including synthetic polymers, biopolymers such as proteins and nucleic acids, and suspensions of colloidal particles. The instrument utilizes a laser to interact with particles in a sample. As the particles scatter light from the laser, they impart information about their motion in solution. The analysis of this information allows researchers to determine a wealth of information including the size, shape, and interactions of the particles in solution without requiring a substantial investment in sample preparation or method development. A multidisciplinary team of UM researchers from chemical engineering, chemistry, and pharmaceutics will oversee the acquisition and operation of the light scattering instrument. The acquisition will enhance the training of both undergraduate and graduate researchers in the use of modern analytical techniques for materials characterization and will be incorporated in courses taken by undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Mississippi.

The acquisition of a light scattering instrument capable of simultaneous static and dynamic light scattering measurements will enhance research in the areas of (a) self-assembly of stimuli- responsive block copolymers in solution, (b) development of cellulose nanocrystals for underground CO2 sequestration, (c) the examination of microenvironmental factors that influence cell adhesion by transmembrane proteins, (d) the development of redox-responsive polymer nanoparticles for triggered drug release, (e) the development of stimuli-responsive nucleic acid delivery vehicles, (f) an investigation on multifunctional graphene-polymer nanocomposites, and (g) the study of structure-property models of Janus dendrimers for sustained release.

For more information about utilizing the light scattering instrument, please read the LS Instruments Spectrometer Information.