Women in Nanoscience


Women in Nano Blog

Looking inside the cavernous pores of materials at the nanoscale with Lydia Kisley and Christy Landes

Posted on September 18, 2015 at 2:40 PM

(Lydia Kisley in laboratory).

Porous materials are widely used for chemical and physical processes. But flow through porous materials can be quite complex because of the way that both the solution and the solutes in the flow interact with the pores at nanoscale dimensions. Understanding these interactions could provide new insights to allow us to use porous materials in new and exciting way. It would obviously be ideal to be able to visualize what's happening inside these pores but this is very challenging.

(Lydia (Left) and Rachael Brunetti (Right), who played important role in collecting experimental data as a REU student in Landes Group.) 

In a recent ACS Nano article, Dr. Lydia Kisley in Prof. Christy Landes' research group in Rice's Chemistry department, have found a a way to visualize to do just that.... to let us see the inner "geography" of porous material using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy super-resolution optical fluctuation imaging (fcsSOFI). They have already shown that this technique is useful for watching protein separations through porous media, where it helped them understand which factors contribute most to separation efficiency in a manner that could not be explained by a simple theory. This technique does not require samples to be frozen or dried, which is required for many other standard imaging techniques. Many woman scientists contributed to this project including Rachael Brunetti, second author and former REU student who made important contributions in collecting experimental data, and Xiyu Yi (fifth author of the article), a UCLA grad student collaborator who played a crucial role in developing the theory.

(Lydia Kisley and Prof. Christy Landes in the laboratory).


Dr. Lydia Kisley, who recently defended her thesis in the Landes group, has worked on a variety of research projects, including single molecular spectroscopy of molecular separation techniques, nanobio interactions of serum proteins and gold nanomaterials, and interfacial interactions and imaging of molecular dynamics in synthetic materials. Prof. Christy Landes is a physical chemist who leads research to advance our understanding of complex structure-function relationships in biological processes and to use them for innovative material design. She received the prestigious NSF Career Award in 2011, and awards from the ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator program and the Norman Hackerman-Welch Young Investigator program in 2009.

- Written by Eugene Choi, Edited by Paulette Clancy

(Photo credit: Poster: Provided by and used with permission from Lydia Kinsley, Lab: credit to Rice University).

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