Physical chemistry is the application of physics to chemical systems.
Swarna Basu, Ph.D., conducts research is in the area of molecular interactions, using lasers and other instrumentation to answer questions such as: Is it possible to detect a unique DNA sequence that's found in the chromosome using metal ions? Or, what happens when a metal complex similar to a metalloenzyme comes within a very short distance (1-10 nanometers) of a protein?
The ability to accurately observe and quantify these interactions yields valuable information about the nature of the protein or DNA or compounds that are similar in structure and properties.
Basu’s research projects include a significant amount of instrument development. The university’s laser system was assembled by SU students and is routinely updated and modified, depending on experimental needs. Most recently, a microscope was added with the goal of imaging samples and carrying out reactions on the microscale.
Students gain valuable, hands-on experience in instrument development, project design and implementation, and data analysis and interpretations. Several students have presented their work at national and regional conferences and most recently, a student co-authored a peer-reviewed paper that was published.