suzanne lunsford, ph.d - student & postdoc opportunities
Broad Area of Research Interest from Chemical Education to New Sensor Development
Professor of Chemistry: Dr. Suzanne Lunsford
Undergraduate Projects have included the following below:
1. Research and Development in the modification of sonogel-carbon electrode with nanostructured materials synthesized ZrO2 and TiO2 via the sol-gel method employing with and without surfactant template. The surfactant template was tailor designed to create the acceleration in the electron transfer rate to detect a variety of compounds from catecholamines, phenols to heavy metal detection. The use of electrochemical instrumentation techniques such as cyclic voltammetry allows the study of electron transfer rates in the detection of these common 1,2-dihydroxybenzenes to phenol compounds in the presence of common interferents. The studies of the nanostructured materials ZrO2 and TiO2 synthesized via sol-gel method were further analyzed by techniques such as TEM, SEM, EDAX and AFM.
2. Research and development in the modification of electrode surfaces by the electrochemical synthesis of polymers such as poly-3-methlthiophene and a poly(2,2’-bithiophene) to detect neurotransmitters in the presence of common interferents such as ascorbic acid. The development of these polymers electrochemically has been challenging for students working to build sensors that have mechanical stability, physical rigidity, surface renewal ability and selectivity. The studies of the modified polymer electrode surfaces were further analyzed by infrared spectroscopy to optimize the conductive polymer sensor surface.
3. Research Experiences to Enhance Learning (REEL) Project was created to enhance learning outcomes in chemistry education throughout the state of Ohio. The Ohio Consortium for Undergraduate Research is comprised of the chemistry departments of 15 educational institutions spanning the State of Ohio, including community colleges, liberal arts colleges, and research universities. We have three Project goals: First, to transform the current 1st and 2nd year chemistry courses into a research-intensive program so students will pursue additional scientifically oriented training, appreciate the scientific and ethical nature of research, and adopt the scientific method as a lifelong problem-solving technique; second, to increase the retention and graduation rates in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields; and, third, to generate new knowledge in the chemical sciences through multi-site faculty-student collaborative research projects that pool their results in a common data base. The central focus of the REEL Undergraduate Research Center will be the development and implementation of a series of modules for use in the 1st and 2nd year chemistry courses in 15 Ohio institutions. Wright State University is part of the environmental and analytical module on “electrochemical detection of catechol/neurotransmitter in the presence of ascorbic acid at a conducting poly(3-methylthiophene) and a conducting poly(2,2’-bithiophene) modified platinum and glassy carbon electrode”. This problem solving inquiry-based lab was developed to enhance freshman student content in the area of redox reactions and how these reactions relate to real world sensors to detect common diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. The goal of the project is to increase the integrated content with new instrumentation lab skills such as utilizing a cyclic voltammetry instrument. The conclusions of the students attitudes about science and the pre-test and post-test for the REEL Project will be data analyzed and assessed throughout REEL program by undergraduate chemistry students.