Lessons from a droplet: From Conformational Analysis to Molecular Electronics
Professor in Department of Materials Science and Engineering
North Carolina State University
What kinds of measurements can we make with a droplet? What kind of chemical information can we derive from observing a droplet? This talk will explore how a droplet of water is a ‘tour-de-force’ in measurement of sub-nanometer characteristics of organic molecules. By comparing information density derived from a droplet of water, and that derived from advanced measurement like sum frequency generation or tunneling characteristics, we note that the droplet is a superior (efficient) tool in probing molecular conformation, surface structure, and order/disorder of organic molecules assembled on a surface. We identify a few ‘supporting characters’ like statistics, thermodynamics, understanding of organic chemistry, and a multi-dimensional view of the sampled space as critical to revealing the power of a droplet as a probe for sub-nanometer characteristics- a domain that is often thought to require advance tools and techniques. This talk will be structured as a discussion with early career scientists in mind, so let us all explore simplicity to reveal complexity.