Research Mentor(s): James Penner-Hahn, Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Chemistry and Biophysics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 2 (11am – 11:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 15
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential biological cofactor. In our research, we specifically looked at the absorption of light in cobalamins– this creates a variety of excited states that have previously been characterized using femtosecond time-resolved transient absorption spectroscopy. The overall goal of this research project is to look at the change in cobalamin structure after excitation using XANES (X-Ray Absorption Near-Edge Structure), and analyzing the spectroscopy specifically for the K-edge absorption. Using various computer programs including fdmnes (a finite-difference XANES simulation program running on the GreatLakes cluster), and Matlab programs that we wrote, we sought to emulate the effects of changes in the cobalamin molecules on the XANES. Our results show that there are few differences in the ability of these molecules to absorb the x-rays as their synthesized spectra only differ in a few ten-thousandths.