Friday, March 25, 2016

         How is everyone doing?? I hope you all had a great spring break, but the fun is over and it is time to get back to work. First of all, I would like to remind you that we are almost done with the semesters. I can’t wait to learn about your projects at the end of the semester.
         As for my project, it has its ups and downs. I am still in the process of synthesizing my catalyst,but unfortunately, I had to start all over!! The week before spring break, I left a reaction running, and later found out that I didn't add enough solvent to my solution and the reaction wasn’t successful. I also had some problems with some lab equipment this week and expensive lab glassware was broken (my bad).However, I am confident that next week I will have completed synthesizing my catalyst and start my carbon dioxide reductions, which is the main goal of my project.   
Picture of  a  glovebox

My Reactions Bombs Heating in Oil Bath

Friday, March 4, 2016

ASU Internship-week 3

              It’s been a while since I updated on my research, and I apologize for that. Don’t worry, I haven’t made a scientific breakthrough and there really isn’t much to update. Up to this point in the semester, I have been working on synthesizing the catalyst. Unfortunately, the catalyst I am working on is not something you can order online from a chemical manufacturer. In fact, professor Trovitch likes to point out that I have the world’s supply. Making it requires  time, there are  reactions that take more than 24 hours. However, thanks to the help of the graduate student that’s working with me, I am almost done. I know everyone wants more detail into the mechanism of the reactions. I am going to start working on writing them down with a chemical software I just downloaded.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

ASU Internship-Week 1

    I am excited to start blogging once again, and I hope everyone is having a great start to the year.This semester, I will be doing my internship at ASU with Professor Ryan Trovitch's research group. The focus of my research will be synthesizing a molybdenum metal complex, and studying its catalytic behavior for reducing carbon dioxide to methanol and other useful organic compounds.
    The catalyst is an inorganic coordination complex, that consists of a central atom (called coordination center), surrounded by various organic/inorganic molecules (called ligands). The ligand in my catalyst is called alpha-diimine (DI). The ligand and the molybdenum atom share electron density, which gives the molybdenum a 2+ net charge (resonance structure). Due to this 2+ net charge, the molybdenum complex can undergo some very interesting chemistry...

Picture of the ligand

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Week 12

It is almost that time of the year!! That time when you start finishing up collecting your data, writing your paper, and preparing for the final presentation. If anyone is wondering how my research is going. Well, let’s say that it could be worse. I am collecting my data by measuring Optical density of my sample every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. So far, the data isn’t that good for the entire sample. Unfortunately, I am having very slow growth rate for 2 samples and no growth another. I know that there must be a mistake that I made, but I can’t seem to figure out what I did wrong. I
Anyway, I hope everyone has a great Thanks giving vacation!! (And good luck black Friday shopping)

Various Algae Samples

Week 11

The other day I realized that there was some interesting white foam in one of my algal containers. I didn’t seem to be air bubbles from aeration. I am almost 100% certain that it was contamination. Fortunately, the presumed contaminated algae culture was an old culture that I wasn’t collecting any data from. Nevertheless, I was very concern. Honestly, I didn’t know what else to do besides adding more algae media.  I thought that maybe I could promote algae growth, and that would eliminate the contamination. I gave it a try, and guess what?? I checked on that same algal culture today, and there wasn’t any white foam!!
I don’t know, maybe it wasn’t contamination, but at least it’s gone. 

White foam is gone!!