This past week has been very busy: I have completed my laser training course, I have prepared and ran 10 or so samples on the tensiometer and have been able to process that data to obtain the CMC values as well as working my way towards finding the absorbance value for our sample, and we have placed some older samples on the lyophilizer in order to purify the samples so that I can began some of my own tests on them. I have also begun work on a process known as Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), which is meant to determine the size of the aggregates that form in our sample. I am fairly new to this process and am still learning about what the results mean, so by next week I will most likely be able to expand on why we are doing this.
All of this has come in very quickly, but for good reason. At our group meeting last week, the head of our research group announced that we are getting two new workers as mentioned in my previous post. However, there is still quite a bit of stuff I need to learn before I am prepared for these new arrivals, because all of the data we are processing is taking more time to understand than I hoped for. I understand why we are doing these calculations, it is just the method in which we are obtaining these values is tedious and has a lot of potential for error. For example, yesterday I had to catch up with my data processing due to the laser training on Monday, so I was given three new tests that had to be processed, as well as learn how to calculate the absorbance value and the molecular area of the molecule. That whole “excursion” took a good couple of hours to do, but luckily for me, we were waiting for our sample to stabilize before we began our DLS tests. My apologies for the lack of pictures this post, but rest assured I will have more next week as I begin my own tests on a different surfactant known as Sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). Thank you for reading!