Updated: May 5, 2018
Currently, Safiya studies at Siena Heights University. She joined Professors Peng Zhang research team over the summer, working with his graduate student Emily Westbrook.
Her research was centered on probing the distance-dependence of surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy using nanocomposites composed of raman reference and probe conjugated copolymers grafted to gold nanoparticles.
Polymers are a large chain of monomers. Nanoparticles are microscopic materials that have a large surface area. Nanocomposites are made up of polymers and nanoparticles, which are used for instrumentation. One type of instrumentation that can be used is Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS); however criteria needs to be developed for future nanocomposite research. We grafted a series of block copolymers to gold nanoparticles to investigate the distance-dependence of SERS. The block copolymers were composed of Poly(Me methacrylate-glycidyl methacrylate) (PMMA-b-GMA). The copolymer series used an increasing amount of GMA (5-45 mol %) to determine the trend with the enhancement of SERS. It was detected that the enhancement of the probe signal was the greatest at the medium distance from the particle.
Take a look at Safiya explaing her experience in the REU program