Department of Chemistry
Rapid-scanning transient absorption of heterogenous micro-environments
Flourescence based microscopy has proven to be a powerful tool for observing the localization of biological species.
However, Tessa Calhoun says it is imperative that we extend these studies to investigate the effect of the local, heterogeneous environment.Transient absorption microscopy (TAM) uses multiple, ultrafast laser pulses to measure the properties and dynamics of a molecule’s excited states, which are susceptible to the electron density of its immediate chemical surroundings.
Calhoun’s Collaborative Cohort project focuses on advancing TAM instrumentation with a supercontinuum probe, pulse shaping techniques, and rapid scanning capabilities to monitor the location and ultrafast dynamics of molecules as they interact with the membranes of living cells.
Calhoun’s work with microscopy has also led to her participation in a pilot project supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Biological Environmental Research. In a collaboration with ORNL scientists and academics from across the country, her project seeks to develop an adaptive approach to imaging, which will serve as a framework for designing and implementing bioimaging experiments for an array of processes.