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 1 (10am-10:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 15
Metal-containing molecules like cobalamines have interesting properties when exposed to EM waves like visible light or X-rays. This makes them useful for a variety of applications such as drug delivery, biosensors, and solar energy capture. Measuring the behavior of these molecules helps us create models to better understand changes in their structure. Specifically, we studied cobalamins which differed slightly in structure due to having different ligands. We intend to measure the effect these ligands have on the molecule’s structure. In our experiment, we scanned samples of different molecules over a range of X-ray energies and measured the absorption as a function of incoming X-ray energy. These measurements were taken a the SSRL synchrotron at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. From this data, we can calculate the electronic structure of the molecule using a quantum chemistry program called Quanty. So far, it looks like we have discovered a shift in peak absorption at the L-edge depending on which ligand is attached to the molecule, which is a promising result. This means that the ligand likely has a large impact on the absorption of the molecule. We are expecting more results once we are able to do the structure calculations, which should tell us more about how these molecules differ in their structure.