Project Title

Development of a Transient Spectroscopy Laboratory Activity with Signal-to-Noise Simulation Applications

Presenter Information

Andrew M. SchlerethFollow

Presenter Hometown

Annville, PA

Major

Chemistry

Department

Chemistry

Degree

Undergraduate

Mentor

Judith L. Jenkins

Mentor Department

Chemistry

Abstract

Here we describe a practical experiment used to introduce upper-level undergraduate chemistry students to advanced applications of absorbance spectroscopy and signal-to-noise averaging. These concepts are introduced throughout the chemistry curriculum, but abstract connections between the concepts and their utility are difficult to realize without concrete, tangible evidence of such connections. For instance, it is useful for students to realize that time-resolved spectroscopy gives us important information on how reactions occur, as well as the kinetics behind the reaction. In certain cases, the presence of intermediate species in photochemical reactions can be monitored, giving a clear picture of how a reaction occurs. In this work, a procedure involving the flash photolysis of methyl red, a common pH indicator, was adapted from literature for a laboratory at EKU. This adapted procedure was then combined with a spreadsheet-based signal-to-noise simulation. Through the course of this study, experimental data were averaged and compared to simulated signal averaging, which gave comparable and replicable results. These activities foster meaningful ways to connect theory and practice, while also introducing students to advanced applications of fundamental topics. Making connections between the data gathered during an experiment and reactions written on paper is a fundamental skill which tremendously increases the preparedness of students looking for careers after graduation.

Presentation format

Poster

Poster Number

047

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Development of a Transient Spectroscopy Laboratory Activity with Signal-to-Noise Simulation Applications

Here we describe a practical experiment used to introduce upper-level undergraduate chemistry students to advanced applications of absorbance spectroscopy and signal-to-noise averaging. These concepts are introduced throughout the chemistry curriculum, but abstract connections between the concepts and their utility are difficult to realize without concrete, tangible evidence of such connections. For instance, it is useful for students to realize that time-resolved spectroscopy gives us important information on how reactions occur, as well as the kinetics behind the reaction. In certain cases, the presence of intermediate species in photochemical reactions can be monitored, giving a clear picture of how a reaction occurs. In this work, a procedure involving the flash photolysis of methyl red, a common pH indicator, was adapted from literature for a laboratory at EKU. This adapted procedure was then combined with a spreadsheet-based signal-to-noise simulation. Through the course of this study, experimental data were averaged and compared to simulated signal averaging, which gave comparable and replicable results. These activities foster meaningful ways to connect theory and practice, while also introducing students to advanced applications of fundamental topics. Making connections between the data gathered during an experiment and reactions written on paper is a fundamental skill which tremendously increases the preparedness of students looking for careers after graduation.