With support from the Major Research Instrumentation Program and the Chemistry Research Instrumentation and Facilities (CRIF) Program of the Chemistry Division, Professor Massimo Bertino from Virginia Commonwealth University and colleagues Dexian Ye, Joseph Reiner, Everett Carpenter and Collen Taylor (the latter from Virginia State University) will acquire a scanning confocal Raman microscope. The proposal is aimed at enhancing research and education at all levels, especially in areas such as (a) surface-enhanced Raman scattering on noble metal coated metal nanotips; (b) detection of NO in blood and tissue; (c) nanopore-facilitated loading of nanosharps; (d) functionally-graded silica films and their characterization on multiple length scales; and (e) aerogel cross-linking.
Raman spectroscopy measures the vibrational frequencies of molecules in a sample which are characteristic of the chemical content, composition and structure of the material. A Raman microscope scans across a sample to provide a spatial image of the chemical composition in response to the laser probe. This widely used technique, employing lasers to probe the material, is non-destructive. This instrument will strengthen graduate and undergraduate education as students use this instrument in their research projects and in laboratory courses.