Student: Jonathan Nederhoff, Undergraduate Student in Chemistry Education, University of Northern Iowa
Research Mentor: Curtiss Hanson and Joshua Sebree
Identification and characterization of Plutonian and Titan tholins via LDMS and 15N NMR
In our research, we have 2 major projects being completed. Both are allowing for the characterization of tholins produced by Dr. Joshua Sebree in his atmospheric simulation of Titan and Pluto. We use 15N enriched pyridine to allow for greater sensitivity in the analysis through nitrogen NMR.
We are developing in Dr. Curtiss Hanson’s lab a novel Laser Desorption Mass Spectrometer using a semiconductor wire trap to allow for better ion control and peak shaping. This system has a standard time-of-flight after the semiconductor wire trap to allow for MS/MS type experiments to be completed. The development of the semiconductor includes creating a parabolic electrical field through the resistance applied to the wire. This creates a movement along the trap analogous to a harmonic oscillator.
We are also analyzing the data collected from the NMR experiment for the tholins. Through this we are able to identify the functionalities created by the photosynthetic system used to simulate the atmospheres of interest.