Friday, December 7, 2012

Chemistry Alum Publishes Research

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David Wilcox (Chemistry '08)
David Wilcox (Chemistry ’08) is completing his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry in Professor Dor Ben-Amotz’s Resarch Group at Purdue University.  David and coworkers recently published an article in the journal Analytica Chimica Acta.  The title of this paper, his 7th while in graduate school, is “Photon level chemical classification using digital compressive detection.”  David wrote the following about his work.  

A key bottleneck to high-speed chemical analysis, including hyperspectral imaging and monitoring of dynamic chemical processes, is the time required to collect and analyze hyperspectral data.  In this work, we have built a new Raman spectrometer which utilizes a digital micromirror device (DMD)—the same technology present in everyday projectors—as an optical filter for rapid detection of chemical species.  In collaboration with mathematicians at Purdue University, we developed a new algorithm for designing optimal DMD filters that minimize the error in the measured component concentrations.  We have found that we can distinguish between two chemical compounds in 30 μs (with only ~10 photons ), which is significantly faster (by orders of magnitude) than possible with conventional Raman spectroscopy.

While a student at Ashland, David conducted research with Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer that helped to develop new methods of analysis for root exudates in soil.

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