Upload new images. The image library for this site will open in a new window.
Upload new documents. The document library for this site will open in a new window.
Show web part zones on the page. Web parts can be added to display dynamic content such as calendars or photo galleries.
Choose between different arrangements of page sections. Page layouts can be changed even after content has been added.
Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.
Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.
Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.
Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.
Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.
Cycle through size options for this image or video.
Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.
Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.
Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.
Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.
Remove the video from the media panel.
Prof. Karl Booksh helped spearhead UD's efforts to acquire the new atomic force Raman microscope.
single strand of DNA. The toxic pollutants in a waft of air. A paint
sample from a priceless work of art. Flakes of a Martian meteorite.
Thats only a smattering of what scientists will be able to examine with
the new microscope an atomic force-Raman microscope, to be exact
now housed in the University of Delawares Lammot du Pont Laboratory.
UD is excited to add this important and state-of-the-art new tool to
our suite of instruments for examining materials at high resolution,
said Charles G. Riordan, vice president for research, scholarship and
With this capability, UD faculty, students and staff will
be able to drive research and education forward in a wide array of
fields, from engineering to physical sciences to art conservation.
The new microscope will help researchers go where they couldnt
before. Previous scopes just didnt have the super-high resolution and
chemistry-uncovering power this one has.
This microscope will allow scientists to see objects 10,000 times
smaller than the diameter of a human hair plus provide detailed
information about both the surface of a material and its chemistry,
said Karl Booksh, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and the
rallying force behind UDs successful proposal to the National Science
Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.
Rachel McCormick (second from left) gives fellow chemistry doctoral student
Devon Haugh (left) and Wofford College undergrad Savannah Talledo some
training in how to use the new microscope, as Prof. Karl Booksh looks
NSF came through with a $558,228 grant from its Major
Research Instrumentation and Chemistry Research Instrumentation programs
and the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).
The UD Research Office also helped support the cost of the instrument,
which was purchased from Horiba, a leading provider of analytical and
scientific measurement systems.
This new tool is a scientific twofer, combining two microscopes
in one. A Raman microscope, named after the late Indian physicist and
Nobelist Sir Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman, scans a sample with a laser,
interacting with the vibrations of the molecule of interest, scattering
the light. These light patterns serve as fingerprints for identifying
the molecules and for studying their chemical bonds and degree of
interactivity with other molecules.
An atomic force microscope scans a sample using a small probe that
yields information about the surface, such as its topography, hardness,
electrical and thermal properties. This probe, tipped in gold, is nearly
atomically sharp, meaning it is virtually able to detect a single
Combining both techniques within a single microscope delivers a trove
of information simultaneously. And thats important for a number of
studies across the University and with industry collaborators, as well
as partnering institutions such as Winterthur Museum.
Indomethacin is an anti-inflammatory drug commonly used to treat
pain, swelling and stiffness associated with arthritis and bursitis.
Image taken with UDs new Raman microscope.
During the summer of 2019, doctoral student Devon Haugh and
undergraduate Savannah Talledo, a Wofford College student participating
in the NSF-funded Science and Engineering Leadership Initiative at UD,
used the new microscope to study air pollutants.
Tiny gas particles
from vehicle exhaust and soot generated from burning coal can fuel
climate change and increase the risk of asthma, lung disease, heart
disease and other health problems. The microscope helped to determine
the acidity of the airborne particles, which influences how quickly they
will grow in the atmosphere.
Understanding acidity can help us improve predictions of how
airborne particles affect human health and climate, said Murray
Johnson, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, who is leading the
In a conventional laboratory, acidity is measured with a pH
meter. However, that approach does not work for airborne particles on
the sub-micrometer-size scale, hence the need for new measurement
approaches such as the Raman microprobe.
Haugh was glad to have access to the new instrument for her work.
I care about the health of our environment, she said. This project
allows me to contribute toward better understanding and protecting
Experts at Winterthurs Scientific Research and Analysis Lab will
focus the microscope on the museums valuable collections of historic
textiles, as well as its Chinese export paintings from the 18th and 19th
centuries, according to Jocelyn Alc??ntara-Garc??a, assistant professor
of art conservation and a co-investigator on the grant. In the first half of the 19th
century, with the boost in foreign trade due to the opening of ports in
China, a large number of Western synthetic chemical pigments were
imported to China. Before long, these man-made pigments replaced the
mineral and plant pigments that Chinese painters had traditionally used
in their artwork, from watercolors to reverse-painted glass. The new
microscope will help conservation scientists gain a better understanding
of this transitional period.
Alc??ntara-Garc??a said she will use the instrument to understand the
fixatives that were used to set the dye in historic textiles, which will
help textile conservators and other museum professionals determine
degradation mechanisms and potential interventions.
Magnified view of a meteorite specimen from Mars under
cross-polarized light. Image taken with UDs new Raman
Now, about those meteorites in a collaboration that began when he
joined the UD faculty a decade ago, Booksh is working with Merck senior
scientist Joseph P. Smith, who earned his doctorate in analytical
chemistry at UD, and with Marietta College professor Frank Smith, who
earned his doctorate in geology at UD, to unlock some of the secrets of
the planets through clues provided by lunar, Martian and asteroidal
meteorites. The samples came to the team on good authority from NASAs
Johnson Space Center and from the Smithsonian.
The teams primary interest is the
chemical composition and properties of these rocks, which contain shock
pockets created from all the fracturing and melting that occurred when
they hit the ground. Their chemistry can help reveal the geology and
atmospheres of their home planets. Smith said the work also could aid
the search for life on Mars in NASAs and the European Space Agencys
2020 rover missions.
The NASA and ESA rovers both will have, for the first time, Raman
spectrometers to help characterize Martian surface materials, Smith
said. As such, our work investigating meteorites may help enhance the
search for life on Mars by developing optimal data collection and
Booksh and Smith also are working on other intriguing problems right
here on Earthas collaborators on Merck & Co. Inc. and UD project
focusing on pharmaceutical applications. The team will investigate
polymorphism in drug development the ability of a solid to exist in
two or more crystalline forms, each with vastly different physical and
chemical properties. Polymorphs are of particular concern to the drug
industry because one of these forms may be toxic, and more than 50
percent of active pharmaceutical ingredients have more than one
Were hoping to develop the next generation of analytical techniques
that will help solve these complex challenges facing the pharmaceutical
industry, Smith said.
Article by Tracey Bryant; photos by Evan Krape; microscopic images courtesy of Booksh Lab Group
Published Oct. 2, 2019