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Raymond Kennard,
NSF Graduate Fellow

NSF GK-12 Project: University of Maine
Track II: GK-12 Sensors!
URL: http://www.eece.maine.edu/research/gk12/

Thesis Title: Development of Single Molecule Fluorescent Spectroscopy for Characterization of Inorganic Mesoporous Thin Films

College/University: University of Maine

Research Advisor: William DeSisto, Michael Mason

Degree Sought
Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering

University Department and/or Lab
Chemical and Biological Engineering

Research Focus
My research focuses on development of single molecule fluorescent spectroscopy for characterization of inorganic mesoporous thin films.

Description of Research
Porous membranes have been a significant impact on industrial processes for the past quarter century, especially in areas of separations, i.e. water filtration, purification, flu gas management. However with increasing demands on industry to improve efficiency while cutting energy consumption and reduce waste, a significant amount of resources have been invested into developing new porous materials along with novel applications. These goals are met by changing synthesis processes to fabricate new membranes and modification of membranes currently commercially available. In order to effectively change a synthesis to develop new membranes or modify currently used membranes with desired properties and performance, the link between these three areas must be clearly understood.

Example of how my research is integrated into my GK-12 experience
Since my research involves porous membranes and one application for these membranes is filtration, I have implemented an activity that requires students to investigate different types of commercially availed filters used to purify water and air. The students use several filters to purify “dirty” water and determine pros and cons of the various filters. After their analysis, we discuss how they would improve the filters and what challenges they would face with their proposed improvements. During this time we discuss the importance of filters to help the environment, industrial processes, and sensor technology.

Profile date: July 2007
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