Instrumentation and methods for analysis on new frontiers
Fundamental and practical measurement of chemicals, biomolecules, and materials is critical to the advancement of every aspect of modern science. Analytical Chemistry is the science devoted to the development of new instrumentation and methods to enable such measurements in all shapes and forms. Extraordinary facilities for instrumentation and electronics conception, design, testing, and application, coupled with rigorous student training, have created a vibrant, dynamic, top-ranked program in Analytical Chemistry at Indiana University. Traditional analytical approaches - mass spectrometry, optical spectroscopy, separations, and electrochemistry – are augmented by interdisciplinary efforts in chemical biology and materials chemistry. Our mission is to conceive, define, and develop future analytical tools and methods and to train the next generation of leaders in the field.
|Baker Clemmer Hieftje Jacobson Novotny Peters Reilly Thielges|
Carlson Hites M Jarrold Pohl Raff Yu
As part of our research in electrochemistry, we are exploring the use of silver cathodes which possess exceptional catalytic activity...
...toward the reduction of halogenated organic compounds. Direct reduction of 6-iodo-1-phenyl-1-hexyne at a silver cathode in dimethylformamide affords benzylidenecyclopentane in nearly quantitative yield (an impossibility if a carbon or mercury electrode is employed).
In other work, a protocol based on stripping analysis has been devised to determine trihalomethanes (THMs) at concentrations of 10–100 nM in drinking water. This range brackets the limits of THM contamination mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Newly arrived faculty member Megan Thielges is developing nonlinear infrared spectroscopy as a tool for the measurement of protein flexibility...
...i.e. the fast wiggling of the protein's amino acids. To generate a picture of the structural fluctuations of proteins with both high spatial and temporal resolution, the ultrafast spectroscopic methods are combined with methods of biochemistry and chemical biology for placing vibrational probe groups at specific sites throughout proteins. This approach will not only enable the testing of the contribution of motion to protein function, but also will permit characterization of many proteins that play key roles in biology that are difficult to study because of their high mobility in solution.
We develop tools and models for chemical measurement
Chemically-selective nanopipettes, methods to measure ion concentrations with scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM), and methods to control ion transport using magnetic fields are a few examples. We are focused on questions related to epithelial tissues, hydrogels inspired by the nuclear pore complex and selective ion transport in nanoscale structures.
A major area of interest to our group is protein structure
Although the "native" solution structures of many proteins are known, little is known about how denatured forms fold into the native state. This is because isolating and determining structures for a large number of solution-phase intermediates is difficult. We are approaching this problem quite differently by studying the structures of naked proteins in the gas phase. Although it seems unlikely that proteins in the gas phase will have structures that are identical to those found in solution, it is straightforward to separate gas-phase intermediates and follow the dynamics associated with folding.
The Hieftje group is studying, among other things, novel kinds of glow discharges
Such discharges are sometimes operated at reduced pressure and sometimes at atmospheric pressure. The one shown in this image is in the open atmosphere and strikes directly onto the surface of a solution sample. Elements in that sample are volatilized, atomized, and emit radiation characteristic of those elements. Despite its low power and small size, the new discharge offers detection limits that rival those of more powerful and familiar emission sources such as the inductively coupled plasma.
Nanofluidic devices are able to sense, separate, and sort individual molecules...
...with unprecedented precision because of the unique transport properties these nanoscale conduits exhibit. With nanofabrication techniques, we are able to create fluidic circuits with a wide range of well-defined geometries and dimensions. Nanoscale dimensions coupled with symmetric or asymmetric channel geometries impact the transport of ions by phenomena such as entropic forces and ion current rectification. We also use resistive-pulse sensing as a label-free approach to characterize single particles in real time and at biologically relevant concentrations. Our group studies the fundamental transport properties of ions and particles and characterizes viruses and their reactions.
Changes in glycosylation of certain blood proteins can be highly significant attributes of human diseases including cancer
Analytical measurements of glycomic changes are rapidly becoming important in the discovery of disease biomarkers. Developing new methods for glycoprotein preconcentration and quantitative glycomic profiling through chromatography and biomolecular mass spectrometry at high sensitivity has been central to our research program. This is exemplified by our recent discovery of unusual hyperfucosylated glycan structures in the pancreatic cyst fluids of cancer patients with high metastatic potential. Their typical quantitative profile is shown above.
Our research group exploits the remarkable properties of laser light in various experiments...
...in bioanalytical chemistry and high resolution mass spectrometry. We are interested in both the development of new techniques and in their application to solving scientific problems.
4th year Graduate Student
My decision to attend graduate school to further my academic pursuits was motivated by my interest in the scientific challenge of research and curiosity in understanding the behavior of materials. Specifically, I chose to attend IU because of the quality of education offered in its Ph.D. program, well-equipped research facilities, and interactions with professors and graduate students during recruiting weekend.
At IU, I have had the opportunity to conduct research in an academic environment which encourages the freedom to pursue my ideas for projects under the guidance of my advisor, while having access to other professors and graduate students' experiences. The professors are great individuals who have shown consideration and interest in educating their students, and this has provided a solid foundation for me to grow as an independent scientist. My experiences as a graduate student have been phenomenal and I am very pleased to have chosen IU as my academic home.
“At IU, I have had the opportunity to conduct research in an academic environment which encourages the freedom to pursue my ideas.”
2nd year Graduate Student
I was initially drawn to Indiana by the quality of research and level of science being undertaken in the chemistry department. While I was already impressed by the research before visiting Bloomington, the faculty and technology of the department exceeded my expectations after seeing it firsthand. During my visitation weekend I was welcomed by the chemistry family and met several graduate students who described their wonderful and challenging graduate experience at Indiana.
Although I was excited to begin working on cutting edge science at Indiana, I was also very excited to move to Bloomington. I've found it is a great college town with lots of things to offer a new resident, such as myself. The community is hilly and beautiful, and has several great restaurants and bars to experience when I'm not working hard in science. Overall, my decision to come to Indiana has paid off greatly, and I'm excited for the years to come in Bloomington
“While I was already impressed by the research before visiting Bloomington, the faculty and technology of the department exceeded my expectations.”
2nd year Graduate Student
I came to IU's chemistry department after completing my B.S. in chemistry at Allegheny College. I made the decision to attend IU because everything about the university and Bloomington seemed to be all that I was looking for and something extra: the faculty, the facilities, the staff, the arts, the diversity and the restaurants.
After completing my first year of coursework and research, I transitioned to the MAT program to pursue my masters in teaching and become a licensed educator. I have the unique opportunity to also teach undergraduates in the process, which is invaluable experience. I have also appreciated the support from faculty and staff that I have received throughout the transition process. The Chemistry Department at IU has helped me along the path to achieve my goals in becoming a more knowledgeable scientist and valuable teacher.
“The Chemistry Department at IU has helped me along the path to achieve my goals in becoming a more knowledgeable scientist and valuable teacher.”
3rd year Graduate Student
As a third year student at Indiana University, I can't imagine receiving a degree from another institution. When choosing a graduate school, my decision was based on who I would work for, what facilities would be available to me (NMR, MS, etc), and my overall feeling about the department. Here at IU, all of my requirements were met and exceeded. The expert faculty and state of the art facilities have allowed for a collaborative environment with limitless possibilities for my project. I have also been fortunate to travel for conferences and to our collaborating lab in Michigan for experience and interaction with the top researchers in my field. Outside of lab I also enjoy Bloomington and try to enjoy as much of it as I can in my free time. The town is very active with lots of amazing restaurants, trails for hiking/biking, live music on the weekends and fun things to enjoy like the farmers market or our local winery/breweries. Choosing IU was one of the best decisions I've ever made and I am excited to be here for another three years.
“Choosing IU was one of the best decisions I've ever made.”
3rd year Graduate Student
Indiana University has been a wonderful place to pursue my graduate studies in analytical chemistry. The university provided me the amazing opportunity to work with world-renowned researchers who have shown a great willingness to help and mentor me in my academic pursuits with learning opportunities through both structured and casual conversations with faculty and peers alike. The facilities and cutting-edge research of the University is matched only by the proficiency and friendliness of the staff that enthusiastically assists graduate researchers in their endeavors. From labmates across the room to collaborators across the ocean, I have never found a shortage of knowledgeable people with varied skills, experience, and perspective with whom to discuss your research and successfully tackle the challenges of instrumentation development. Located in a quintessential college town and surrounded by the beautiful, rolling hills of southern Indiana, IU has not only surpassed my expectations in terms of academic and professional development, but also has provided a vibrant environment in which to live.
“The university provided me the amazing opportunity to work with world-renowned researchers who have shown a great willingness to mentor me.”
3rd year Graduate Student
Selecting a graduate school is one of the most important choices we make. I consider myself very fortunate to study chemistry at Indiana University. The faculty is inspiring and outstanding in all areas of chemical and biochemical research. They give the full breadth of the subjects and encourage researchers in multidisciplinary thought. The instrumentation facilities are well-equipped, and the chemistry library is well established with extensive scientific literature.
“The instrumentation facilities are well-equipped, and the chemistry library is well established with extensive scientific literature.”
2nd Year Graduate Student
IU chemistry was my program of choice when I decided to return to school after 2 years in the pharmaceutical industry. I was impressed by the diverse faculty and world class research facilities. I have found the faculty, students and support staff here to be friendly and approachable which encourages exchange of ideas and facilitates learning.
The department offers opportunities for multidisciplinary research in a congenial work environment. In my short time here I have fallen in love with the beauty and cultural diversity of Bloomington.
“I have found the faculty, students and support staff here to be friendly and approachable which encourages exchange of ideas and facilitates learning.”
3rd Year Graduate Student
I have just finished my second year at IU, and I have learned so much since being here. I have found that communication is very open and easy not just within my research group members, but also with other professors in my research area, outside of my division, and even across the state and country.
The facilities at IU are fantastic, and the personnel are always happy to help and teach me when I come across something I do not know. Outside of the lab, Bloomington has a great music scene and lots of entertainment opportunities. My experience at IU has been a great one, which I would not trade for anything.
“I have found that communication is very open and easy not just within my research group, but also with other professors in my research area, outside of my division, and even across the state and country.”
3rd Year Graduate Student
"I first visited IU during recruitment weekend, and it was then that I had the opportunity to explore various facets of the Chemistry Department. The faculty and current graduate students were instrumental in making IU Chemistry a top choice for my graduate education. Everyone was quite approachable for discussions of everything from coursework and their research to housing and great eateries.
The facilities available are numerable and have assisted me in my materials research, which includes image production of nano-scaled molecular self-assembly on different substrates. With machine, electronic, and glass shops I've also created apparatuses to better focus my study. The program here has allowed me to tailor my study to my specific interests with courses in sub-divisions of chemistry. There is a rich diversity here not only in the Chemistry Department but also in the rest of the university and surrounding areas that is nurturing me into a mature independent thinker.
“The program here has allowed me to tailor my study to my specific interests with courses in sub-divisions of chemistry.”
2nd Year Graduate Student
The innovative atmosphere of the Chemistry Department was the largest influence in my decision to attend IU. Applying to graduate school still green from undergraduate, I was searching for a department filled with driven leaders but did not want to miss out on a lively community that offers nightlife, festivals, as well as outdoor excursions. Here, the faculty and staff encourage collaborations, which blur the boundaries between divisions.
My days are spent bouncing back and forth from the synthetic lab to the surface chemistry lab, collecting input from both advisors as I work on the collaborative project exploring liquid/solid interfaces.
“I was searching for a department filled with driven leaders, but id not want to miss out on a lively community that offers nightlife, festivals, as well as outdoor excursions.”